School cash drained by legal bill

Salford School's legal bill reached almost $50,000 last year, with costs set to increase as the statutory intervention continues.

The Invercargill primary school has been under statutory management since November 2012, when the Ministry of Education appointed Peter Macdonald to investigate staffing concerns raised in an ERO report.

The ministry has provided financial assistance to help the school cover the costs, but associated legal fees are draining the school's finances.

Information provided by Salford School commissioner Nicola Hornsey shows the school incurred legal fees of $48,205.88 in 2013.

She estimated another $25,000 in fees would be incurred this year.

The school would adopt a deficit budget this year so student achievement would not be put at risk, Ms Hornsey said.

Once expenses like legal fees were no longer being incurred, she believed the school would be able to return to a financially stable position "reasonably quickly".

It is still unclear when suspended principal Marlene Campbell will return to the school.Meanwhile, the cost of the intervention itself has climbed to almost $100,000.

The Southland Times