As you may recall, Te Pumanawa o te Wairua School, in Whangaruru, Northland is a charter school that has been given four weeks to get its act together or face closure. I’ve criticised Hekia Parata of this mess on two fronts. One, she should never have allowed this school to come about in the first place – the warning signs were there. Two, she should have closely managed its success, as the Charter School flagship schools could not be allowed to fail.
The school faced a clear list of shortcomings, but many people, including my own readers, oddly enough, defended Parata and the school blaming the ‘difficult’ kids who had been out of the school system too long. I found this gob smacking. That was a known going in. That was the very issue that needed fixing.
A report was released yesterday that also totally debunks it being the kids’ fault.
Documents released today, including an annotated report written by the ministry’s deputy secretary or sector enablement and support Katrina Casey , identified school management as the cause of the issues – which include truancy, a falling roll and underachievement.
“The on-going issues present at the school are directly attributable to the quality of the leadership and management running the school,” it said.
Next to that comment, Ms Parata had written: “YES”.
The report went on to say the Ng? Parirau M?tauranga Trust, which had the contract to run the school, needed to replace the leadership team with suitable appropriate and experienced personnel. Only in that case could it make a swift recovery.
It said a trust member had taken a part time operational role in the school this year, but it was “not clear they have the required skills to effectively manage the Education Director or the operations of the school”.
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