Key Points:

The minister of education today sacked the board of trustees (BOT) of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara after claims teachers have been abusing students, both physically and verbally.

Anne Tolley has appointed a Commissioner to replace the board of the south Auckland high school in the interim.

"My decision follows an Education Review Office (ERO) report on Hillary College that raises serious concerns about the board's governance especially in relation to student safety, the quality of teaching in the senior and middle schools and the board's capacity to govern effectively", said Mrs Tolley.

Mrs Tolley said the ERO report recommends intervention and it is her opinion that the most appropriate level of intervention is the appointment of a Commissioner.

"I am very concerned by the revelation that the physical and emotional abuse of students by a few teachers has been a long-standing issue that has been brought to the board's attention in the past. The abuse by some teachers includes hitting, swearing at and denigrating students", the minister said.

The executive chair of the college, Kelly Ngakuru, said no one from the
school was permitted to comment on the appointment or the dissolving of the board of trustees.

She said the Commissioner would start at the college on Monday morning and takes over officially from midnight tonight.

The minister said the Education Review Office intends to return to the College within 12 months to evaluate the progress that has been made in response to its recommendations.

- NZHERALD STAFF