Remarkables Primary calls in limited statutory manager

A limited statutory manager (LSM) has been appointed to Remarkables Primary School.

In a statement yesterday, board chairwoman Jane Hughes said Madeleine Hawkesby's appointment was a ''voluntary and unanimous'' decision by the Frankton-based school's board.

Parents and staff were informed yesterday afternoon.

Mrs Hughes said the eight-member board sought outside assistance because it ''required specialised support''.

''The Ministry [of Education] supported our request for assistance through Madeleine's appointment to allow us to access appropriate resource and skills to assist the board.''

Ms Hawkesby, of Christchurch, would carry out the ''employment function'', but the board maintained all other functions.

''The board and Madeleine will be working together to provide the best possible outcomes for the school.

''We are still there for our community as we always have been.''

Mrs Hughes said the school's day-to-day operations would not be affected by the appointment of an LSM and pupil learning at the ''high-performing school'' remained the board's focus.

Ms Hawkesby said she was not at liberty to discuss ''any personal employment matters due to privacy obligations''.

''At this stage I am unsure how long I will remain as LSM.

''That is a decision for the ministry to make, in consultation with the board and myself,'' Ms Hawkesby said.

She confirmed Debbie Dickson was still employed as the school's principal and her duties had not changed.

She said no board members had been stood down or replaced.

Parents spoken to by the ODT yesterday afternoon said they were not aware of any issues at the school in relation to Ms Dickson or other staff.

The school is rated decile 10 and does not qualify for extra funding.

It opened to junior pupils in February 2010 and fully opened for years 1 to 8 in 2012.

Its roll has increased ten-fold since it opened, and in August Ms Dickson told the ODT it was expected to reach 620 by the end of this year, 10 spaces shy of its capacity.

The ministry was working on plans to further expand the school, which in May took over the neighbouring former Frankton Playcentre building, converted into teaching space equivalent to two classrooms.

tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz

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