First you have to understand why its failing.
1 BOT are not interested really, they expect their Principal to be doing the work.
2 BOT are well down on skills, good people but down on skills.
3 BOT are in a small community, they have known all the teachers all their lives.
4 Family loyalties run deeper than school.
5 No one has the skill base to challenge the school.
6 MOE don't have the guts to make the hard calls.
7 Principal doesn't have the goods.
8 Teachers don't have the opportunities to be the best they can be, have no role models and are well down on skill sets.
9 The school has employment opportunities in a poor area therefore peoples jobs become more important than education of kids.
10 Everyone talks around the problems without addressing them.
11 A Maori card can be played so MOE are more sensitive and no press is interested in the shambles yet it is 10 times worse than any Selwyn College or Cambridge High.
12 ERO didn't have the integrity or honesty to write a true report in the "best interests" of the community.
13 Everyone walks around saying 'it's not my job"
Ok - there are a few reasons why, and there are countless more.
I don't actually want to blame the Principal, School or Community, it is in fact the system that has stuffed this school. The longer the system lets this shambles continue the longer the circle of failure will self generate in this community.
So why has the system failed.
Unions - they wont allow for dismissal of a poor principal. They just wont let it happen. They have a job for life mentality.
BOT Governance - The BOT appoint their Principal but the problem in these small communities is that schools can be the best employers in the areas. Schools pay great wages for these poor communities and people on BOT's are either employed by the school or have family working there. Tell me how a small unskilled BOT can have the knowledge of what a great school does, needs and how it operates. How can a BOT run competency proceedings when they don't have the skills and are dealing with family. Something that serious will never be forgotten in a small community. Governance model isn't working, not every school suits this model.
Solutions, some of them are so it doesn't happen again and others may resolve these ugly situations.
Appoint a commissioner NOW.
Appraise the Principal and assess competence.
Audit the school and the payments to all ancillary staff and community members.
ERO the school with the key ingredient being the kids learning
Fixed term appointments for Principals of five years, where jobs must be re-advertised and interviews before re-appointment.
Set up a task force of experienced people to trouble shoot these type of schools where they have authority to walk in and clean up a school. It's not a communist state in NZ but someone has to make the hard calls.
It sounds really harsh, who makes the call that this is NZ's worst school, there are more q's than answers, the thing is that not many people want to talk about these difficult situations. I know that I haven't really got the answers and simplify issues as "easy to do". But at least my solutions are somewhat better than MOE ones.
Want to hear what the MOE are doing to help this school in 2009, they are introducing interactive whiteboards, truth.