Destruction of CGHS reports 'vindictive'

CHARLEY MANN
Last updated 05:00 16/11/2012
Prue Taylor
John Kirk-Anderson
SACKED: Prue Taylor.

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Christchurch Girls' High School has destroyed more than 500 handwritten notes that sacked principal Prue Taylor wrote for senior pupils' reports.

Acting principal Peter Sawyer told The Press that the school had reprinted the coversheets of about 550 pupils' end-of-year academic reports so they did not contain comments from Taylor.

The original coversheets had been destroyed.

The board of trustees fired Taylor two weeks ago after what it described as a "serious breakdown" in its relationship with her.

Taylor, who is challenging the dismissal, said: "I suppose as far as they are concerned I don't exist at the school any more."

Sawyer said the school had "very clear instructions from the board of trustees that no correspondence at all was to leave the school with Taylor's name on it".

Sawyer made the decision to reprint the coversheets for senior pupils' reports to comply with the board's direction.

The reports were meant to be sent to parents the same day Taylor was dismissed, and staff spent a couple of hours "very quickly" reprinting the coversheets.

As is standard practice, the discarded ones were destroyed.

Board of trustees chairman James Margaritis said the reports were a "day-to-day operations matter", and the board had nothing to do with the decision, referring all questions to Sawyer.

Kim Dunkley, whose daughter is a year 13 prefect, said he was "horrified" to find Taylor's handwritten comments were missing.

He said the personal comment from Taylor meant a lot to his daughter.

"The reports talks about classroom studies, but the principal's report is an overall view of the girl," he said.

The destruction of the original reports seemed "vindictive and petty".

"It is as though everything about Prue has been expunged," he said.

Reports contained comment from pupils' form teachers and indications of academic performance throughout the year.

Junior pupils' reports, to  be delivered in coming weeks, will have a principal's comment from Sawyer.

Previous comments by Taylor on pupils' reports:

"I am very impressed with this lovely report. Well done indeed!" Year 9 report.

"This is a lovely positive note to end the year on. Well done!" Year 10 report.

"I am sure you will have great success in the examinations. Good luck!" Year 11 report.

"You are clearly poised for examination success. Good luck!" Year 12 report.

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- The Press

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