Intimidation complaints against principal upheld

Complaints about intimidation, shouting and arguing with staff in front of school children by embattled Rotary Park School principal Carmel Casey have been upheld by the school's commissioner.

Rotary Park School commissioner Cleave Hay said the employment investigation into the actions of Mrs Casey at Rotary Park School had been completed.

He said several allegations had been made against the principal by teaching staff, and following legal advice, Mr Hay found four of the allegations warranted further action.

''Those upheld were regarding shouting and intimidation, intimidation, yelling, and holding discussion in an inappropriate setting.''

A disciplinary letter has since been sent to Mrs Casey, and Mr Hay said she would be made redundant on January 27, 2013. Mr Hay said no allegations were made against the teaching staff.

''I'm pleased this has all come to a conclusion,'' he said.

Mrs Casey has since left Dunedin and attempts to contact her for comment were unsuccessful.

The school's woes began last year when Mrs Casey became the focus of allegations of incompetent teaching practices.

The situation came to a head when many parents began removing their children as a show of defiance over her return to the school after six months' leave.

Education Minister Hekia Parata ordered a school community consultation process after Mr Hay recommended the school be considered for closure when its roll dropped from more than 60 to just 21.

In June this year, the Ministry of Education announced the school would close on January 27, 2013, because of the declining rolls.

The school's roll had declined significantly during the past five years, from 84 pupils in 2008 to just 21 in 2012. Ms Parata said it was not sustainable to keep the school open because quality education could be provided at neighbouring schools.

Only 10 pupils had been expected to return to the school in 2013. Mr Hay acknowledged the work of all the school's staff throughout the year, the support of the school from its families, and wished them well for the future.

''We will be handling many areas of logistics in the closure until late in January [2013] when the school officially closes.''

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