Christchurch Girls' High principal sacked

EXIT: Prue Taylor.
EXIT: Prue Taylor.

Christchurch Girls' High School principal Prue Taylor, whose husband was killed in the Canterbury Television building collapse, has been sacked.

A brief media statement released this afternoon said: "The Christchurch Girls' High School board of trustees regrets to advise that they have today terminated the principal's employment.

"There have been issues and tensions between the principal and the board of trustees over a long period of time. A recent Education Review Office review and report confirmed that these issues needed to be resolved urgently."  

Peter Macdonald, spokesman for the school's board, told The Press the decision was regrettable.

"It's fair to say the senior management of the school and board had lost trust and confidence in the leadership of the school,'' he said.

''The board has been working proactively with the principal to try to resolve matters. That hasn't been successful.

"This is not the outcome we wished. It's very regrettable.

''From the board's perspective, Prue is a very fine person with a very fine background." 

He said the school was taking steps to advise staff, parents and pupils.

The school's ERO report released in August this year said the school was "not well placed" to sustain and improve its performance.

It said professional relationships between the board, principal and senior managers "are of concern" and had "the potential to hinder the school's progress" and had "to be resolved urgently".

"The board has sought the services of an external consultant to resolve these concerns, but at the time of this review there has been no satisfactory resolution."

The report, signed by Graham Randell, of ERO's southern region, recommended the Secretary for Education consider intervention in the school to help resolve the concerns about the relationships between the board, principal and senior management.

Taylor's husband, Brian Taylor, was a director at King's Education and died in the collapse of the CTV building during the February 2011 earthquake.

Taylor suffered a further tragedy when her grandson Olly Taylor, 21 months, died suddenly in June.

Girls' High was earmarked to merge with Avonside Girls' High School and operate a split shift in the original announcement on September 13.

The move was swiftly put on the backburner by the Education Ministry after an outcry from principals.

The ministry is now awaiting a geotechnical report for the site before considering any options.

Girls' High is not involved in the consultation period for other schools affected by proposals to close or merge, which will end on December 7.

The school has just over 1000 pupils.

A fellow principal, who did not want to be named, said he was ''flabbergasted'' to hear the news, which had come as a shock to the education community.

The Press