School head resigns as ministry takes over

By Anna Ferrick, Sam Hurley -
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Heretaunga Intermediate School is under a Government review. Photo / Glenn Taylor
Heretaunga Intermediate School is under a Government review. Photo / Glenn Taylor

The Ministry of Education has assumed control of Hastings' Heretaunga Intermediate School and initiated a school-wide review.

The school's principal, David Lunny, has also resigned, while a limited statutory manager has assumed the powers of the school's board. Mr Lunny had no comment when approached by Hawke's Bay Today.

Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said Mr Lunny had resigned, effective December 13, and Rachel Smith was acting principal. The board of trustees was still in place.

"A limited statutory manager was appointed to the board on October 1, and has assumed the powers of the board in relation to employment matters, curriculum management (including teaching and assessment practice), and has initiated a school-wide self-review.

"The ministry does not intervene lightly in the running of a school. The effective management and functioning of a school is our principal concern.

Three reasons the ministry may intervene in a school are a risk to the operation of the school, a risk to student achievement, or a risk to student welfare and safety."

While a commissioner would replace a board of trustees, a limited statutory manager might take on some but not all of a board's roles and responsibilities and the board remained in place. "We actively work to ensure that a school is returned to full self-governance within two years."

At the time of going to print last night board of trustees chair Lynda Allen had not responded to questions about why the Ministry had intervened at the school.

The school made headlines this year after a teacher with a conviction for aggravated robbery was sentenced for stealing sunglasses. Amanda Jane Scott pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court in July to a charge of stealing the $400 pair of sunglasses at Mitre 10.

Scott is understood to have been the getaway driver for a bank robbery in 1991 and, at the age of 22, was jailed in Christchurch Prison for three years.

She has since resigned.

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