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NZSTA welcomes Court ruling in favour of school

Media Release

NZSTA welcomes High Court ruling in favour of school

The New Zealand School Trustees Association says schools around the country should take a keen interest in a recent decision in the Hamilton High Court, relating to a pupil being stood down from his school.

NZSTA President Lorraine Kerr said the case was a challenge by way of a judicial review over the stand down of a pupil from Hamilton’s Nawton School. The school was legally challenged by the child’s father over the stand down.

Ms Kerr says the ruling showed the judge’s common sense approach in interpreting both the relevant provisions of the Education Act and the rules governing student stand downs.

“In his judgment Judge Harrison has clarified a number of points that principals need to take into account when considering standing down students.

“All New Zealand schools will be studying this case with interest and NZSTA will be providing them with advice based on Judge Harrison’s rulings.”

Ms Kerr says it was of note that Judge Harrison’s commented in “respect of the special, indeed extraordinary steps they (the school) have taken to provide for his educational needs”.

The judge also commented on the “drain on the resources of individual teachers and particularly on the emotional resources of the principal and the teacher”.

“Inevitably this type of legal action takes its toll on all parties, but in particular it puts extreme stress on the school, its principal and its teachers”, Ms Kerr says.

NZSTA congratulates Nawton School for the professional way it handled - and continues to handle - the special needs of the student concerned.

“While schools will be able to take guidance from the judge’s decision it is regrettable that this school was subjected to months of stress before the decision was made.”

NZSTA notes and welcomes the judge’s comments that:

“(The Principal ) and her staff have done nothing to deserve this application. I only hope that my decision brings to an end an unnecessary distraction for all concerned….”

ends

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