24 Feb 2013

Principal to fight sacking

5:23 pm on 24 February 2013

The principal of a Far North school where a former teacher abused young boys has been sacked.

Stephen Hovell has been on leave from Pamapuria School since August and was dismissed on Thursday.

His lawyer, Bryce Quarrie, says he will file proceedings to the Employment Relations Authority on Monday and ask for an urgent hearing so his client can be reinstated.

Former Pamapuria School deputy-principal James Parker pleaded guilty in August 2012 to multiple charges of indecent assault and unlawful sexual connection with young boys and is still to plead on further charges.

Late last year, a report found the school failed to protect students despite a police warning about Parker.

The inquiry found Parker was stood down several years earlier after complaints but was reinstated after those compaints were withdrawn.

The police and Child, Youth and Family warned Mr Hovell in 2009 that there were concerns about Parker.

There were further warnings that he should not be alone with pupils or have them to stay at his home.

Principals' Federation president Phillip Harding wants to know why the school was left to investigate and not the police.

The school is being run by commissioner Larry Forbes.

Parker remains in custody.