Otago principals say Secretary of Education Lesley
Longstone was ''destined to fail'' and she should never have
been appointed to the position.
Otago Primary Principals' Association president Whetu Cormick
said Ms Longstone's situation was ''untenable''.
''The secretary was asked to implement policy that came
directly from an economic model of education and is
completely at odds with what Kiwi kids need, what the New
Zealand public wants, what the teaching profession knows is
right and the way schooling operates in New Zealand.
''Under these circumstances, she was destined to fail. It's
no shock that she's resigned.''
Mr Cormick said her work in attempting to close Salisbury
School in Nelson and the Novopay problems were ''the straw
that broke the camel's back''.
Salisbury School was the only residential education and
pastoral care centre for girls with complex needs in
Australasia, and a judge last week ruled its closure was
Mr Cormick said the the ministry should appoint someone who
understood New Zealand's cultural context.
''A lot of Maori and Pacific Island children are
''She didn't have the knowledge and ability to implement the
''The next secretary needs to have an in-depth and innate
sense of what Kiwi kids need in terms of who they are
culturally, and what type of curriculum would help engage
them and connect them to support their positive
Otago Secondary Principals' Association president Brent
Russell felt sorry for her because she was handed an
''She's paying the price for some very unpopular Government
decisions like Novopay and the Christchurch schools