The commissioner appointed to The Terrace School in Waipukurau says that while the school has had some difficult issues to deal with she is positive it's heading in the right direction.

Anne King was appointed as commissioner by the Ministry of Education in February this year after an Education Review Office report identified concerns about student achievement levels and monitoring at the 215-student school.

This prompted the trustees of the school's board to resign, two immediately, the other three upon appointment of the commissioner.

The concerns flagged in the ERO report included the variable achievement levels since 2014, leaders and teachers not responding effectively to students whose learning and achievement needed acceleration, and the need for urgent improvement in leadership and stewardship to bring about improvements in students' learning and wellbeing.


On Monday this week, King said she received notice that principal Kathi Harris had resigned, effective from the end of Term 2.

"We appreciated Ms Harris's commitment, and the work she carried out while she was principal at The Terrace School.

"I have appointed the deputy principal Charlotte Verrell as acting principal, and I am confident that she will lead the school well until such time as a new principal has been appointed," King said.

In a school newsletter this week Verrell said Harris's resignation was for personal reasons, and that she had gone on leave immediately before her formal finishing date.

King said that since she had been appointed a strategic direction had been set for the school in consultation with the principal, staff and the community, and that the opportunity for students' academic achievement was a key focus along with the health and wellbeing of students and staff.

At this point, the board had not been replaced, but that would take place once the school was back on a sound operational footing and a new principal was in place, said King.

A new principal would be sought as soon as possible, but the first priority was to support the students, staff and community while changes were made to better support the delivery of the school curriculum.

"It will take time and it is unlikely the new principal will be in place before the beginning of


In the meantime she said that while the school had faced some difficult issues that had been identified and were being addressed, she was positive about its future.

"I am confident that any issue the school faces can be addressed in consultation with the staff and the community.

"During this time I thank the staff and the community for their support and input and I look forward to continuing building the school's capability with them."