The Wanaka Primary School board of trustees is asking the
Ministry of Education to replace it with a commissioner.
The request follows three more resignations from the troubled
board: Kassandra Jackson before a board meeting on Tuesday
night, Rachel Cassaidy during the meeting and Brian Thomas
earlier this month.
Former chairman Richard Cubie and Jo McArthur resigned from
the board earlier this year.
Limited statutory manager Cleave Hay, who has been working
with the board since January, said the request for a
commissioner to be appointed was contained in a letter on its
way to the ministry.
In a statement to staff, parents and whanau yesterday, Mr Hay
said the latest resignations had left the board with only two
parent-elected trustees, one co-opted trustee and one
staff-elected trustee, plus the principal. There were four
Mr Hay said in the statement the remaining trustees discussed
the situation at the meeting, including the board's
stability, its capacity to administer effective governance
and ''the distraction'' of having four casual vacancies and
an election for two trustees in November.
''Their overall feeling was that they do not believe there
can be effective student achievement-focused governance in
Mr Hay said the ministry would consider the ongoing
governance of the school ''which may involve the appointment
of a commissioner to replace the board of trustees''.
A commissioner would determine when the school could govern
from the community again.
Mr Hay said he had been assured the principal and staff
remained ''firmly focused'' on delivering the best possible
education to all pupils.
Approached by the Otago Daily Times yesterday, Mr Hay
referred questions to the ministry and to board chairman Mike
Mr Thomas did not respond to an ODT message yesterday.
When taking on the role of chairman in April, he said the
school's governance woes were behind it, following the
resignations of Mr Cubie and Ms McArthur, but he would not
Board member Brian Thomas said he had no comment yesterday.
Ms Jackson and Ms Cassaidy indicated they would respond by
email, but had not done so by last night.
A ministry spokeswoman said the ministry had still to receive
the board's request but was aware of the firstname.lastname@example.org