Govt review slates Wakatipu High principal, senior staff

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Wakatipu High’s principal and senior managers cop a roasting in a newly-released Government review of the school. 

The latest Education Review Office report slates the school principal Lyn Cooper and senior managers for not uniting the staff and mismanaging major curriculum changes. 

“There is general agreement that major recent changes have not been as well managed as they might have been, resulting in unnecessary confusion and uncertainty,” it states. 

And: “The principal and senior managers are frequently seen as separate from the rest of staff, resulting in unnecessary division and lack of trust.” 

Processes for identifying and supporting gifted students are also fragmented, the report states. 

Encouragingly, the report states that Wakatipu High’s largely new board of trustees is already aware of these issues and moving to address them. 

The report says the ERO will support the board in this. 

On the bright side, the ERO gives Queenstown’s only secondary school high marks for the quality of its teaching and “the positive relationships between most students and most teachers”. 

Students benefit from the recently-revised curriculum and the school is praised for its outdoor education, sports academies and promotion of music and the arts. 

But it’s also putting the school on notice that it will “carry out another review over a period of one-to-two years”.

The full ERO report will be available online later this week.