New prin­ci­pal at Mana Col­lege

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON -

Trou­bled Mana Col­lege has ap­pointed a new prin­ci­pal.

John Mur­doch, cur­rently the head of Taita Col­lege, will start in term 2.

Orig­i­nally from Scot­land, Mur­doch has taught in sev­eral schools in New Zealand.

‘‘The board hopes John’s back­ground in school lead­er­ship and man­age­ment, curriculum in­no­va­tion and in build­ing com­mu­nity part­ner­ships will strengthen the col­lege and grow its re­la­tion­ship with the com­mu­nity,’’ a state­ment from the col­lege board of trus­tees said.

Statu­tory man­ager Helena Bar­wick took con­trol of Mana Col­lege in March to ad­dress a plum­met­ing roll, poor fi­nan­cial man­age­ment and a lack of di­rec­tion among staff and stu­dents. Mar­ion Tuite later took over.

Mana’s aca­demic, lead­er­ship and fi­nan­cial per­for­mance was crit­i­cised in an Ed­u­ca­tion Re­view Of­fice re­port in Septem­ber 2014, and the board de­cided to ask for sup­port be­fore it was vol­un­tar­ily im­posed, board chair­man Chris Toa said.

Since 1989, Mana’s roll has fallen from 777 to 373. To re­duce costs and save teach­ing staff, back-of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tors had been let go, which led to in­ef­fi­cient bud­get­ing and man­age­ment.

The roll had fallen partly be­cause of a trend for Porirua stu­dents in the western part of the city to at­tend ei­ther Tawa Col­lege or other schools out­side the city. De­mo­graphic changes also showed fewer chil­dren lived in Mana Col­lege’s zone and Bar­wick said the rep­u­ta­tion had also de­clined markedly.

‘‘There’s an el­e­ment of peo­ple not be­ing con­vinced that Mana is pro­vid­ing what stu­dents need,’’ she said.

Staff and stu­dents were get­ting in­suf­fi­cient over­sight and in­for­ma­tion was not al­ways reach­ing the school’s board.

Bar­wick, who held statu­tory man­ager roles at Porirua School and Kimi ora School, was ini­tially in­stalled at Mana by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion at the re­quest of the board of trus­tees. Prin­ci­pal Mike Web­ster of­fi­cially re­tired in Au­gust.

As the ap­point­ment has been made late this year, Mur­doch will re­turn to Taita Col­lege in term 1 be­fore head­ing to Mana Col­lege. Tuite will con­tinue in her role un­til Mur­doch takes over.

A powhiri will be held early in the new school year to wel­come Mur­doch to Mana.

PHOTO: NEIL PRICE

Mana Col­lege’s new prin­ci­pal, John Mur­doch, who starts in term 2 next year.

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