Assistant rector praises pupils, with warning

Waitaki Boys' High School pupils have received a positive endorsement from the school's new assistant rector, but he has also issued a stern warning against bad behaviour.

Roger van Booma said in a letter to all parents that most students were ''respectful, resilient and demonstrate degrees of self-motivation''.

This year, only two out of 475 pupils had been suspended.

None had been excluded or expelled.

But the behaviour of ''a few'' pupils - including threats to teachers, physical aggression and bullying - prompted a warning of ''no tolerance of any gross misconduct''.

Mr van Booma has spent his first five weeks reviewing pastoral care, behaviour management and attendance systems.

The review found behaviour by a few pupils was affecting the learning and wellbeing of the majority, he said.

Two independent reports last year and an Education Review office review had identified pupil behaviour as an issue at the school.

Mr van Booma said such behaviour was in direct contravention of the school's rules and regulations - ''certainly not the actions or attitudes we wish of a young Waitakian''.

Pupils persisting could expect increasingly severe interventions regarding access to learning, sport and culture, he said.

They included stand-downs, suspensions and expulsion.

Incidents would be reviewed case by case, and Mr van Booma asked parents and caregivers for their support.

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