The chairman of the Wanaka Primary School's board of trustees
has resigned, citing his concern over the way the school has
dealt with complaints from parents.
In a resignation letter to his fellow board members on
December 10, chairman Richard Cubie said over ''the past
weeks'' the board had had to deal with a series of ''complex
and contentious issues''.
''I believe some parents who have raised ongoing concerns or
complaints have been treated in a way as to impugn their
integrity as parents. There has been a refusal to work in a
conciliatory, empowering way, with continuing support for
Mr Cubie would not discuss the issues with the Otago Daily
Times. His letter, a copy of which was delivered to the ODT
on Monday, says he had 35 years' experience in the British
education service and had not previously encountered such a
''It is not within my experience in education to have
encountered a whole school community being held to ransom
with: threats made to the board of trustees; the withholding
from the board of trustees essential public information; the
deliberate destabilisation, by intervention, of the
governance work and responsibilities of the board of
Mr Cubie referred to problems arising after a letter sent to
the board on October 29.
He considered a ''significant number'' of parents had been
disenfranchised from their ''rights to express their ongoing
concerns''. Mr Cubie said his position was untenable.
''The best interests of the children and the work of this
exceptional teaching staff will not be served by continuing
to hold this office.''
Although resigning as chairman, Mr Cubie will remain on the
Responding to ODT inquiries this week, Ministry of Education
head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said in a
statement the ministry had been approached for support by the
''As a result, we are providing governance training to the
board through an external facilitator. We have also met with
the board to discuss what additional support may be
Ms Casey said the ministry was not carrying out an
investigation of any kind.
School principal Dr Wendy Bamford would not discuss the
matter with the ODT this week.
The school has a roll of 530.