12 Jun 2013

Sacked principal not getting job back

10:33 pm on 12 June 2013

A Far North school where a teacher abused young boys is hoping to move on now that the principal has lost a bid to get his job back.

Stephen Hovell was sacked from Pamapuria School in February this year, but asked the Employment Relations Authority to re-instate him.

In its report released this week,the authority declined the request, saying Mr Hovell did not do enough to protect pupils from former deputy principal James Parker, who has been convicted of multiple charges of sexual assault and indecency.

The school's commissioner, Larry Forbes, says Mr Hovell didn't properly reprimand Parker or monitor his actions after sexual complaints against him were laid, then dropped, in 2009.

Mr Forbes says that failure to monitor led to further abuse for another three years.

The school is interviewing potential new principals on Wednesday and hopes to have a new person reinstated by term three, he says.

Education consultant and former principal Robin Shepherd has known Stephen Hovell for decades and also knew James Parker.

Mr Shepherd told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Wednesday that the Ministry of Education and the Education Review Office failed to support Mr Hovell.

"Both those agencies were quite capable of knowing what was happening in the school. That's one of the things that those agencies are now well aware of - that they have to be far more meticulous in the way they scrutinise the performace of schools."

Mr Shepherd says it is sad that Mr Hovell has had his reputation destroyed.