Statutory manager appointed at Omarama School

Madeleine Hawkesby. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Madeleine Hawkesby. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Omarama School is starting the new year with a limited statutory manager in place, and will soon have a new principal.

Christchurch special counsel Madeleine Hawkesby was appointed to the limited statutory manager role late last year.

This week she confirmed the school would also be looking for a new principal, following the resignation of Michelle Green.

Ms Green, who is on leave, resigned, effective from April 6.

Geraldine Sumner is acting principal for the first school term, when a recruitment process for a new principal will take place.

Ministry Te Tai Runga leader Nancy Bell said Ms Hawkesby was appointed after the school’s board approached the ministry seeking support.

She has the functions, duties and powers as an employer to manage communications and advise on board policies and procedures.

“By far the majority of schools operate successfully, but a small number develop areas of concern that they cannot resolve without outside help.

"We always work with schools to support them to resolve problems themselves, and only intervene as a last resort.

"Where we do step in, an intervention aims to bring expertise and a fresh perspective."

The aim of any intervention was always to return the school to full self-management as soon as the recommendations of the intervention had been met, she said.

"We monitor all school interventions closely, as we will be doing with Omarama School."

Ms Hawkesby said she could not comment on why she had been appointed, but her key function was as the employer of the principal.

"On a day-to-day basis this involves providing support to the principal and creating accountability in order to ensure the principal is fulfilling the requirements of their role as the manager and educational leader of the school."

She expected to be in the role for 12 months, at which time it would be reviewed by the Ministry of Education.