Sacked principal's case goes to ERA

Sacked Invercargill principal Marlene Campbell will have her case for unjustified dismissal heard by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) next week.

An investigation meeting would start on Monday at the city's Ascot Park Hotel and was expected to last all week, an ERA spokeswoman said yesterday. The hearing, before an ERA member, is open to the public.

While not as formal as a court hearing, parties involved can be represented by lawyers and call witnesses. Determinations are legally binding, but either side can ask the Employment Court to reconsider the case if they are unhappy with the outcome.

Ms Campbell was principal of Salford Primary School, North Invercargill, until she was dismissed in March, and wants to be reinstated.

In November 2012, the Ministry of Education appointed Peter Macdonald limited statutory manager after a negative Education Review Office report.

The formal review report released in August 2012 said past and present staff members and some parents had expressed serious concerns about aspects of Ms Campbell's leadership and noted ''high levels of staff turnover and dissatisfaction'', which it said was ''putting schoolwide developments and ongoing improvement at risk''.

In November last year, the school board of trustees resigned, Mr Macdonald suspended Ms Campbell, and lawyer Nicola Hornsey was appointed commissioner to run the school. It was Ms Hornsey who dismissed Ms Campbell.

The troubles at Salford have polarised the school community, as some parents and staff supported her and protested her suspension and dismissal but others were happy to see her go.


Add a Comment