9 Apr 2009

Problem school's board steps aside for commissioner

9:03 pm on 9 April 2009

A Taranaki school board is to voluntarily stand down to allow a commissioner to take over and deal with behaviour problems.

There has been a surge in the number of suspensions at Manukorihi Intermediate School in Waitara, from about six annually to 28 last year.

The school board paid for a professional assessment of the problem and trustees decided to stand down after a verbal report was delivered this week.

Board chair Jonathan Marshall says disobedient behaviour has spread from a small group of pupils, including some involved in a spate of arsons in Waitara last year.

Mr Marshall says some parents undermine behaviour standards and the school faces pressures from outside, including gang activity.

He says a commissioner will work more quickly than a board of inexperienced volunteers.