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Government may step in over Prue Taylor

Tuesday 27 Nov 2012 11:51 a.m.

By Thomas Mead

The dispute at prestigious Christchurch Girls’ High School (CGHS) continues, with the Ministry of Education indicating it could weigh in on the case.

Principal Prue Taylor, who was fired by the CGHS school board in early November, recently won a bid to get her job back temporarily.

An Employment Relations Authority decision ruled that she had been fired without proper cause. She is due back for a full hearing on February 4th, but has been given her job back in the interim.

The decision has sparked action from the Ministry of Education who, in a letter to the school’s Board of Trustees, said that they were “monitoring the situation closely”.

“If the principal is re-instated, the Ministry’s view is that the level of risk would escalate to the extent that the Ministry would immediately recommend that the minister consider intervention,” the letter states.

The school board has said in a statement that it will stand by the authority’s decision.

“The Board recognises the Employment Relations Authority decision and will cooperate fully in meeting the conditions of the interim re-instatement,” the statement says.

However, the board continues to claim that there are strong issues between Mrs Taylor and key stakeholders, arguing that these would be “exacerbated” by Taylor’s full reinstatement.

Parents of the school’s pupils are calling for the resignation of the entire board over the issue.

35 parents met yesterday to discuss the issue, before calling for the board to resign.

Parents’ spokesman Mark Smith was disappointed that the pupils and parents had been left of out of the equation.

“Speaking from the parents’ point of view, we’re concerned that we’ve not been engaged,” he says.

“We think we’re strong stakeholders, important stakeholders, and we’ve felt very much alienated by this board and very confused as to exactly what has gone on and why.”

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