Salford principal 'had to go', ERA told

19:28, May 27 2014
Marlene Campbell
IN LIMBO: Salford School principal Marlene Campbell.

The man who suspended Salford School principal Marlene Campbell told a board member she "had to go", months before suspending her, the Employment Relations Authority has been told.

Former Salford School board of trustees member Aaron Fox made the claim during an ERA investigation meeting yesterday.

The meeting, which began on Monday at the Ascot Park Hotel, was brought by Campbell against Salford School after she was dismissed as principal in March.

Fox, called as a witness for Campbell, described his recollection of a discussion between himself and limited statutory manager Peter Macdonald following a board meeting in mid-2013.

Macdonald told him "the situation at Salford was the worst he had ever seen" and the principal "had to go", Fox said.

Lawyer Scott Wilson said Macdonald accepted he had told Fox the issues at Salford were "deep-seated" but denied saying the principal had to go.

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He put to Fox that he inferred the "had to go" comment, and that Macdonald had never actually said it.

Fox said his memory of the exchange was that Macdonald had made the comment. "It's one that left me thinking, what have I got myself into?"

The investigation meeting is expected to continue for the rest of the week.

The school has been under statutory management since 2012, after an ERO report raised concerns about staffing issues. 

The Southland Times