Govt sacks troubled Selwyn College's board

An Auckland college has had its board of trustees dissolved by the Government.

The board of Selwyn College, in Kohimarama ,will be replaced by a commissioner.

Education Minister Anne Tolley made the announcement this afternoon following an Education Review Office finding that called for more intervention.

"A specialist adviser was appointed to assist the board in 2007, and it is my opinion that the most appropriate step now is to appoint a Commissioner," Mrs Tolley said.

She said there had been a history of differences between board members and the community which had caused enrolments to decline.

The Herald on Sunday reported that one board member had already resigned, calling the report "as damning as it gets".

Matesha Ababa accused the board of denying problems with the school and said criticism was considered anti-Selwyn.

Remaining members said they were disappointed by the findings and thought the school improved last year under their leadership, reported the paper.

Since the article ran, The ERO report has been made public. Click here for the full report

The report said the board of trustees had begun to "operate more effectively".

"However, the board's progress is still marred by its inability to consult and communicate effectively with some groups in the local community."

The report went on to say that the "ERO is not confident that the board of trustees has sufficient capacity without external support to govern the school in the interests of all students and the Crown."

Speaking to the Herald on Sunday from Idaho, board chairman George Burrell described the statements as "surprising" and said they were "considered too harsh" by members.

Mr Burrell said the school faced problems with the socio-economic and cultural diversity of its students.

- NZHERALD STAFF

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