Mt Aspiring College principal resigning as problems swirl

Wayne Bosley
Wayne Bosley
Parents of pupils at Mount Aspiring College in Wanaka do not believe the resignation of the principal will fix what they describe as numerous issues remaining at the school.

In a letter to parents, caregivers and students yesterday MAC principal Wayne Bosley said the time was right for him to resign.

Mr Bosley, who has been at the school for 20 years as deputy principal and principal, has come under the spotlight in the past few months following a poor Education Review Office (ERO) report and the resignation of two school trustees.

Earlier this month three parents, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote to the Ministry of Education’s Otago and Southland education director Julia Anderson saying they had no confidence in the school’s board of trustees and the principal to resolve issues at MAC.

Those issues included "the ability of the principal to develop and execute a cohesive and effective strategy of reform", "the total lack of a stakeholder engagement plan" and ... "school leadership unable to lead and nurture teaching staff, further evidenced by a myriad of employment relations failures and expensive non-disclosure agreements."

One of the three parents who drafted the letter yesterday said he was not surprised Mr Bosley resigned as his position had become untenable without the support of the community and a large number of staff.

However, he said issues remained at the school that were not "instantly resolved" by the resignation.

"I think it would be fair to say that everyone who signed the letter to the ministry (and there were now 69 signatures), and lots of other people who showed their support, want the school to be governed well.

"They want issues to be dealt with swiftly and boldly and I don’t think anyone is going to be satisfied until that has happened."

A different group representing about 80 parents formed in March. After a public meeting of MAC parents and the Board of Trustees that group agreed on the need for change.

Parents of MAC spokeswoman Ruth Heath said the resignation of Mr Bosley was a start "but there was still the unresolved issue of weak governance".

"The board had enabled the principal as much as the principal had enabled the board to be ineffective," she said.

Ministry of Education deputy secretary sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said the department had met with the MAC board of trustees to discuss the support it could provide, and said it would continue to support the school for as long as was needed.

The board was keen to progress work identified as next steps in the Education Review Office report, and the ministry was confident appropriate action was being taken, she said.

"While there are some areas that the ERO report identified as needing focus and development, the report also highlighted strengths of the college, and areas where it is performing well," Ms Casey said.

Mr Bosley told the ODT he was not retiring, but wanted to pursue other opportunities.

"I’d like to stay in education, I loved and I still love teaching and learning, and if I have more to offer in secondary education then I would certainly love to continue."

He had told the board of trustees he would continue to work through to the end of the school term and would then step down for the transition to a new leader.

"I will leave MAC with my head held high, I love the school and continue to believe that the school is a fantastic environment and it has got a lot to offer."

Board of trustees chairman Ed Nepia yesterday issued a statement expressing his "sincere gratitude to Wayne for a remarkable period of service".

"Wayne has led Mount Aspiring College for 20 years and his contribution extends far beyond the physical campus," he said.

kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

 

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