Parents pull pupils out from school

The prolonged statutory intervention at Salford School has affected school finances and pupil numbers, the school commissioner's report says.

A progress report by Salford School commissioner Nicola Hornsey, compiled in January, says parents have pulled children out of the school because of the uncertainty during the intervention, and warns more could go.

"The identified risk that parents will remove their children from the school . . . has been realised to a small degree to date and remains a risk."

Relief principal Kevin Orlowski yesterday said he understood the school was down about 15 pupils this year, but he did not know why.

Salford School's finances are also being affected by the intervention, the progress report says.

"Significant legal fees" were still being incurred because of the intervention, and these would impact the "overall financial position" of the school, the report says. The total amount of legal fees incurred is not disclosed in the document.

Financial assistance had been obtained from the Ministry of Education to help cover intervention costs, which The Southland Times reported had surpassed $41,000 last October.

School boards of trustees are usually expected to meet the costs of an intervention.

Ms Hornsey's progress report also states the school's working environment remains "slightly unsettled" because of the continued suspension of principal Marlene Campbell.

Ms Campbell was suspended by former limited statutory manager Peter Macdonald in November.

However, the report says there is "some confidence" among the community that the school will emerge from its challenging phase with a renewed focus and a secure future.

Ms Hornsey could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Southland Times