Jobs freeze leaves school headless
The State Government staff freeze has left Karratha Senior High School without a principal so far this year.
One was due to be appointed at the start of Term 2.
The school, which has recently grown into one of the largest in regional WA, has been without a formal principal since the departure of former headmaster Greg Kelly at the end of last year.
Deputy principal Jennifer McMahon was acting in the role for Term 1 and has continued to fill the position this term.
The Statewide staff freeze, which included exemptions for teaching staff but not principals, who are classified as administrative, was lifted with the release of the State Budget last Thursday.
However the high school is in for an indefinite wait with no clear date set for a new principal to be appointed.
Department of Education regional executive director for the Pilbara Neil Darby said having existing staff acting was standard practice for filling vacant roles in schools.
“Other schools may have used a similar system to fill vacant positions during the governmentwide freeze on recruitment, however it’s not unusual for staff to fill positions in this way while vacancies are advertised at any time,” he said.
Speaking before the freeze was lifted, Labor Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Stephen Dawson said leaving a major regional high school without a principal for so long was a “farce”.
“This latest information that we haven’t got a school principal in one of the biggest State schools in the WA is absolutely outrageous,” he said.
“Surely it should be exempting those frontline services.”
Pilbara MLA Brendon Grylls defended the staff freeze as a difficult but temporary decision the State Government had made out of financial necessity.
“At the end of the day, the reason for the decision was to save money.
“You save money by not reappointing,” he said.