Scots College principal responds to allegations

by Brett Henebery14 Apr 2016

The Scots College principal, Dr Ian Lambert, has responded to allegations of misconduct which were contained in a series of leaked documents.

The documents, provided to The Australian, contained a series of unfounded allegations against the school’s principal, Dr Ian Lambert, accusing him of abusing travel privileges and overspending millions of dollars on capital works projects that were not reported to the school council.

According to Fairfax Media, the allegations were contained in a report by 10 school council members and presented to an emergency assembly of the Presbyterian Church last week, which set out the reasons behind the school's move to replace Dr Lambert at the end of this year.

In a statement made through his lawyers, Lambert denied the allegations, insisting he had complied with his employment contract at all times.
 
“The assumption by the former council that staff costs can be benchmarked against peer schools is problematic. No other school in Australia provides a six-month residential program for all year nine boys at a bush campus in Kangaroo Valley [south of Sydney],” he said.
 
“Nor do most schools operate educational programs over seven separate campuses. This is not to say that benchmarking is not a valuable tool to compare similar organisations, however the former council was trying to make an exact comparison that simply does not exist.”

Lambert added that his contract entitled him to business class travel on work-­related flights of over five hours.

In a statement obtained by The Educator today, Lambert highlighted the importance of trust between school heads and their boards, the absence of which “leads to dysfunction”.
 
“Schools are communities of trust. Children trust teachers. Teachers trust parents. Boards trust Heads. Boards and Heads need to make this their number one priority if accountability and unity of purpose is to be achieved,” he said.
 
He added that “a heightened demand for accountability” in governance meant an increased desire to attract business people onto school boards.
 
“Schools are places of motivation and inspiration. This needs to be models through the Head and their team of teachers. To be brave and bold in leadership, Heads need encouragement, support and honesty,” he said.
 

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