Education Minister must intervene in Dunedin school crisis

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

The future viability of Dunedin’s Rotary Park School is increasingly in doubt as more parents enrol their children in other schools, Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran says.Clare Curran MP for Dunedin South

27 January 2012

Call repeated for Education Minister to intervene in Dunedin school crisis

The future viability of Dunedin’s Rotary Park School is increasingly in doubt as more parents enrol their children in other schools, Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran says.

“I want to reiterate my call to the new Education Minister to get out of her office and pay attention to what’s happening with Dunedin’s schools.

“The previous Minister has left a raft of issues unresolved and now it appears another school may close due to lack of action and poor decision-making,” Clare Curran said.

“Reports today that teaching staff at Rotary Park have gone on leave, in protest at the continued presence of principal Carmel Casey, are hugely concerning.

“Problems between the principal and the staff surfaced last year, and a limited statutory manager was appointed.

“At the time the principal went on planned leave. When she returned to the school at the end of 2011, the Board of Trustees resigned and a statutory manager was appointed to sort out the issues.

“That person now says the school is in a legal mess. With warning signs as serious as these, the Minister should be taking an interest,” Clare Curran said.

“This school has previously been a safe, supportive and respected educational facility. Parents chose to send their children to the school from other parts of the city.

“Now those parents, who care passionately about their children’s education, are scrambling as the school year is about to begin, to find other high quality schools where they can enrol their children.

“I have already written to the Minister asking her to give urgent attention to other serious concerns around the newly merged Bathgate Park and Carisbrook Schools.

“So far there has been no response. It is not good enough for the Minister to continue to ignore the problem,” Clare Curran said.

ENDS

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