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Vote of no confidence at NZ’s largest school

2 June 2005

Vote of no confidence at NZ’s largest school

Secondary teachers at The Correspondence School say they no longer have confidence in the CEO and the Board of Trustees and are calling on the Board to engage in constructive and meaningful dialogue to restore lost trust.

In an unprecedented move, the PPTA branch voted in favour of a resolution expressing no confidence in the CEO and school board.

Derek Bunting, PPTA Chairperson at the school, said the vote signalled the frustration staff felt about the direction in which the school was moving and the poor manner in which they had been treated in recent months. “This announcement is a wake up call for the board.”

In order to make the books balance, the Board has sacked over fifty staff and adopted a Differential Service Model that discriminates against one group of students in favour of another group.

Bunting said that teachers had expressed alarm at the manner in which retrenchment has occurred, the unsound manner in which the model was being developed and the substantial risk posed to the education of students who lacked a voice to complain. Unlike other schools, the TCS board lacks parent, staff and student trustees.

“Morale among teachers is at an all time low. In good faith, teachers made sound and well-founded submissions on proposals. However, they are sick and tired of the cavalier manner in which submissions have been systematically ignored.

“We formed the view that a predetermined plan was adopted before the Clayton’s consultations began,” Bunting commented.

“Misrepresentation of staff views and attempts by the CEO and the Board to lay the blame for the poor morale outside the school have backfired. Clearly, the Board is the author of its own misfortune.

“We have stopped short of calling for resignations. The Board can recover lost ground only by effective two-way communication with staff.”

“Teachers are willing to join forces with the Board to seek from the Minister of Education adequate funding that ensures equity for all enrolled students and the restoration of a democratically elected fully representative Board.”

“The ball is in the Board’s hands,” Bunting concluded.


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