WorkSafe notified of staff wellbeing concerns after mystery departure of principals

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 May 2021, 8:12PM
Dale Burden, executive principal of St Peter's School, together with his deputy principal wife, are currently absent from the school without explanation from the board. (Photo / Sarah Ivey)

WorkSafe notified of staff wellbeing concerns after mystery departure of principals

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 May 2021, 8:12PM

WorkSafe is looking into "concerns about staff wellbeing" at Waikato prestigious private St Peter's school.

It comes amid the absence of husband and wife executive principal Dale Burden and deputy principal Yevette Williams from the Cambridge school.

"WorkSafe has been notified of concerns about staff wellbeing at St Peter's School and is making inquiries," a spokesperson for the health and safety regulator said.

It's unclear exactly when Burden and Williams were last at St Peter's School, but it's believed to have been before the end of the first school term.

Parents have been left in the dark over the unexplained absence of the two key staff members.

In the email sent on Monday evening, the school acknowledged queries from parents and caregivers about the two senior staff members but said it was unable to comment further due to privacy reasons.

The Herald's questions were referred to a PR company last night, which said there was no comment due to privacy reasons.

The school is now in the hands of chief operating officer Rob Campbell who today reiterated its stance of being unable to comment when approached again by the Herald.

One parent was supportive of Burden and said the email sent out by the board had only "created more questions than answers".

"The staff and parents that I know have all very much enjoyed working with Dale, and the heads of department that I have become close with.

"He has a big presence at the school and he's very engaging with the students.

"He's a very stand-up guy."

Another parent said he was "shocked and bemused" by the pair's unexplained absence.

"It's an amazing school and the level of communication is amazing, you get a weekly newsletter and so for that [email] to come out on Monday, that was really odd."

The Teaching Council this morning confirmed it hadn't been notified of any issues about Burden or Williams.