Re­moval of three staff sees two day clo­sure of school

Taranaki Daily News - - News - CHRISTINA PERSICO

An in­ci­dent at a small Taranaki school saw three staff mem­bers re­moved and the school closed for two days.

The Marco School board of trustees sus­pended one staff mem­ber and two oth­ers were placed on leave af­ter an in­ci­dent on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 7.

"The well­be­ing of stu­dents and staff is a pri­or­ity for us, as it is for schools."

Ka­t­rina Casey

Marco School, which has fewer than 10 stu­dents, lies be­tween Whang­amo¯mona and Ko­hu­ratahi, in east­ern Taranaki.

While the cir­cum­stances of the in­ci­dent are un­clear, a po­lice spokesper­son said po­lice had re­ceived a com­plaint about the al­leged in­ci­dent at the school and fol­low up en­quiries were be­ing made.

Ka­t­rina Casey, Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion deputy sec­re­tary of sec­tor en­able­ment and sup­port, said they had been ad­vised of the in­ci­dent and the board of trustees had ap­pointed an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tor. Casey did not re­veal the na­ture of the in­ci­dent when asked why the staff had been re­moved.

‘‘We were told that one staff mem­ber was sus­pended and two oth­ers were given leave un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tions had been com­pleted and the board had an op­por­tu­nity to con­sider the find­ings,’’ she said.

‘‘The well­be­ing of stu­dents and staff is a pri­or­ity for us, as it is for schools.’’

She said Marco School is in a small com­mu­nity, and find­ing staff to re­place those on leave was a chal­lenge.

‘‘This re­sulted in the school be­ing closed for two days while staffing ar­range­ments were worked through. The school re­opened on Mon­day 12 Fe­bru­ary. Our re­gional staff have been work­ing closely with the board of trustees and staff at Marco School to en­sure the ap­pro­pri­ate sup­ports are in place to min­imise dis­rup­tion. We will con­tinue this sup­port for as long as nec­es­sary.’’

Marco School hung up the phone when they were asked about the in­ci­dent.

PHOTO: GRANT MATTHEW/STUFF

Al­ter­na­tive staffing ar­range­ments were made at Marco School af­ter three staff were re­moved af­ter an in­ci­dent last week.

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