Onus on Waitaki BHS board to act

The Ministry of Education will consider statutory intervention if the Waitaki Boys' High School (WBHS) board of trustees is unable of effectively resolve issues highlighted in a critical report.

A redacted report, compiled by educational advisor Cleave Hay, was publicly released by the school board last week.

In the report, Hay identified several serious issues the school's board needed to resolve.

"In my opinion WBHS is certainly at point of crisis and needs immediate and comprehensive commitment to rectifying a number of significant risks," he said.

Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said Hay's report is "consistent" with concerns raised directly with the ministry.

"Cleave Hay's report was commissioned due to the number of significant concerns raised directly with us by complainants who wished to remain anonymous.

"We consider that the matters identified in the report require urgent action and will continue to monitor the school board's actions. The board has supplied us with a list of people who will take responsibility for addressing the individual recommendations and time frames for completion."

The ministry has requested an action plan and monthly progress reports from the board.

Casey said if the board was unable to meet its obligations, the ministry would consider taking further action.

"If the board cannot demonstrate satisfactory action and outcomes within an appropriate time frame we will need to consider statutory intervention support to help the school to ensure the issues are resolved.

"That action is not currently necessary and we are focused on giving the school board the opportunity to take immediate, positive action in response to Cleave Hay's report."

Board of trustees chairman Garry McLeod said he was "confident" the board could resolve the highlighted issues promptly.

Casey said the ministry was aware of the community's views on the issues surrounding the school and was committed to restoring the public's confidence in WBHS.

The Timaru Herald