7 Aug 2008

Former principal convicted over roll tampering

5:01 pm on 7 August 2008

A former principal of Balclutha School has been convicted and discharged after admitting inflating the school's roll to gain extra funding.

A Ministry of Education audit uncovered the offending, which took place in 2003 and 2005.

Sharman Dykes, 54, felt Balclutha School had a higher than normal number of special needs students, and that its funding from the ministry was inadequate.

That prompted her to overstate the school roll on three occasions, by up to 15 students each time.

During sentencing at the Dunedin District Court on Thursday, Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said the school received almost $17,000 to which it was not entitled.

He noted that Dykes had pleaded guilty, had no previous convictions, and an otherwise impeccable character - but said the offending was serious, deliberate and a breach of trust.

Judge O'Driscoll convicted Dykes of three dishonesty charges, but did not impose any additional penalty.