The principal of the private college where two children had their throats accidentally slit on stage is to retire.

St Kentigern's head of college, Steve Cole, has announced he will be leaving his position next year after eight years at the East Auckland church school.

In a statement released by the Presbyterian school's trust board, Mr Cole was praised for leading the college through significant growth and change.

"We look forward to appropriately recognising Mr Cole's contribution in due course, but we also want to take this opportunity now to thank him for the leadership, commitment and dedicated service he has given to Saint Kentigern and its special tradition in education," said Saint Kentigern Trust board chairman Dr Bruce Goodfellow.


There was no mention of the highly publicised incident where two students suffered wounds during a performance of Sweeney Todd.

The school show was abandoned after opening night when a razor prop wrapped in duct tape sliced the necks of two teenage actors. Both were rushed to hospital for treatment.

The incident is still subject to a health and safety inquiry by WorkSafe New Zealand.

The injured students have since returned to class.

A college spokeswoman said Mr Cole's departure was not related to the incident as he had been considering retirement plans for some time.

The board said there would be a new organisational structure put in place to manage the independent school's three campuses and four schools in Pakuranga and Remuera.

This would be led by a newly created role to lead all the schools supported by another new role of chief operating officer.

Over the past decade Saint Kentigern had seen growth at all of its campuses making the trust the largest independent church schools group in New Zealand.

It now had 2740 students and more than 400 academic and administration staff.

The board decided this was the right time to restructure given Mr Cole's planned retirement and the pending retirement of the trust's general manager.

Mr Cole will retire from teaching at the end of the second term next year