Following a string of Board of Trustees (BOT) resignations - including that of Principal Wayne Bosley - Mount Aspiring College (MAC) will be assigned an independent Limited Statutory Manager (LSM), it was announced last Thursday.
The intervention by the Ministry of Education (ME) will see some board powers temporarily removed and vested in the LSM in an effort to address governance issues and support the BOT back to a place of self-sufficiency.
There are nine different statutory interventions that can be used by the ME to support schools, with the appointment of an LSM being the eighth action on a scale from monitoring the BOT through to dissolving it.
In a statement last week, acting MAC BOT chair Ed Nepia said that the board had requested the ME to appoint an LSM to “work alongside us.”
“We believe the appointment is a positive step, and look forward to turning our full attention to other key areas such as monitoring student achievement, recruiting a new principal and supporting our staff and students after what has been a challenging few months for our community,” he said.
Principal Bosley’s resignation last week closely followed that of BOT chair Glenn Peat’s and parent representative Tracey Gibson’s, both of whom stepped down citing conflicts with the school’s leadership and direction - which have come under scrutiny since an Education Review Office (ERO) report in March deemed the school “developing.”
In the months since the report, two groups of parents have raised concerns about leadership issues at the school. A letter signed by 49 parents was sent to the ME asking for an investigation into the lack of governance at the school following Peat’s resignation, and stating that parents wanted to “place firmly on the record a vote of no confidence in MAC’s board of trustees” - including the principal.
Meanwhile, a second group, Parents of MAC, continually raised concerns with the board’s strategy and communication.
Nepia said that the BOT hoped the LSM appointment would “mean the Parents of MAC group feel their perspectives will be fully considered and that any necessary changes will be actioned by the school.”
He said the appointment, which he believed would be made by the end of this week, would “enable this to happen quickly and minimise the ongoing impact on the students, staff and school.”
Read edition 977 of the Wānaka Sun here.