The Educator Weekend wrap: MLC in crisis, the Ravenswood rebel and bullied kids turn to home ed

by The Educator12 Dec 2015

This week, Denice Scala, the principal MLC School in Sydney's inner west, came under pressure to quit following a rebellion against her leadership. The schools’ students have led a led petition, slamming Scala’s business decisions. In the last two years, the school has seen the resignation of four heads of its junior, middle and senior schools. This week, a further 30 staff will leave, including senior teachers in the maths, art and music departments and two of its Uniting Church chaplains. In an email to parents obtained by Fairfax Media, Scala acknowledged their concern about the changes within the school. “This is always a time of year with heightened emotion and I am very conscious that as parents who care about the school you are worried about staff turnover,” she wrote. “The numbers are consistent with other independent schools and an important part of renewal.”

In other news, Sarah Haynes, the outgoing school captain of Ravenswood School for Girls used her end-of-year speech to slam her school for being driven more by financial concerns than the welfare of its students. “I don't know how to run a school but it seems to me that today's schools are being run more and more like businesses where everything becomes financially motivated, where more value is placed on those who provide good publicity or financial benefits,” she said. The speech went viral on social media, forcing the school to deny the claims and assure parents that its staff provided a "safe and respectful" learning environment where girls “had a right to express their individual opinion”.

Finally, new figures from the NSW Board of Studies showed that issues such as bullying and violence had contributed to a “steady increase” in registrations for home education over the past five years. In the past four years, the state has seen the number of home schooled students spike by 40%. Currently, more than 3,300 children are registered for home schooling in NSW, however that number could be much higher as the movement of students across states and school systems is not monitored­.