The end of tenure of the Ministry of Education's
troubleshooter in Wakatipu High School signals a return to
normalcy following almost two years of turbulence triggered
by a scathing Education Review Office (Ero) report.
The revocation of Peter Macdonald's appointment as limited
statutory manager in Queenstown's sole secondary school after
18 months was published in the New Zealand Gazette yesterday.
A ministry spokesman told the Otago Daily Times the
intervention was revoked because the ministry was ''satisfied
that the required tasks had been completed and that the
appointment of a statutory manager was no longer required''.
The appointment followed concerns relating to communication,
consultation and change management in the school, which were
highlighted in the critical Ero report published in February
An experienced education reviewer and employment lawyer from
Christchurch, Mr MacDonald has been appointed statutory
manager seven times previously in his career.
The position in Wakatipu High School gave him the powers of
the board of trustees specific to employment.
Principal Lyn Cooper resigned suddenly in September last
year. Deputy principal Grant Adolph resigned because of
family reasons in September this year after 20 years in the
school. The ministry spokesman said Mr Macdonald assisted the
board to establish positive working relationships between the
governance, management and wider school community.
He also helped appoint a new principal, former Halberg Trust
chief executive and Wakatipu High School teacher Steve Hall,
who started in the top job in early September.
Mr Hall said yesterday the conclusion of the limited
statutory manager's work in the school was ''important and
''The ministry now has complete faith the board and the
school can manage its own affairs.
''It's a really positive development.''
The school was officially visited by two Ero inspectors for
three days earlier this month.
After individual interviews with 16 staff members and
trustees, the inspectors unofficially indicated to Mr Hall
and board chairman Alistair Nicholson the issues identified
in the 2011 report had been satisfactorily resolved.
Their new report is due to be publicly released in February