Scathing report for decile 10 school

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Chelsea Primary School has recieved a poor report. Photo / Thinkstock
Chelsea Primary School has recieved a poor report. Photo / Thinkstock

The Education Review Office has recommended intervention at a top Auckland primary school after a scathing report.

Chelsea Primary School in Birkenhead is a decile 10 school for up to 400 children.

Its 2008 ERO report showed off an excellent school with a high expectation of students and a sound relationship between members of senior staff and the board of trustees.

However, its latest review - released at the end of January - notes "disharmony" between senior staff and a breakdown in communication with parents and the wider school community.

"The school is not well placed to sustain and improve its performance," the report reads.

"Governance operations are compromised by disharmony within the board. These poor relationships are a barrier to school progress."

The report says aspects reviewed at the school included the emotional safety of students - including prevention of bullying - physical safety of students, teacher registration, attendance and stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions. It found a number of areas of non-compliance relating to school governance and management.

"ERO recommends that the Secretary of Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to support the board of trustees to address the issues related to governance and management identified in this report."

One parent said he had heard that the ERO had been carrying out investigations near the end of last year and had been waiting to see an outcome.

When a report was not announced through the school or posted on the school website, he decided to hunt it down.

"They haven't mentioned it at all to any of the parents.

"I was quite horrified at what it says. When it says the school's not sustainable and there's major management issues and they want to appoint some form of administrator at a decile 10 school, that's kind of crazy. What it says is that your kids actually aren't safe."

The man said he understood what the "disharmony" was, as pointed out in the report.

"I understand it's reached the stage where they're yelling and swearing at each other all the time. There's been all sorts of complaints about bullying and harassment."

He said the family were now considering removing their child. The school website does not have its latest ERO report posted.

School principal Sue Mulcahy did not return calls yesterday.

- NZ Herald

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