PORTLAND Bay School appears to be in turmoil ahead of the start of the new school year, with claims that major changes introduced by the new school principal are damaging the foundations of the school.
Former school bus driver and volunteer Tim Kerr said he had been working at the school for about six years, but had resigned for the sake of his health after suffering a breakdown which he attributed to this working environment.
“I’m not going back now, I’ve got a new job, but I don’t want the school to fail,” Mr Kerr said.
Mr Kerr said that since the arrival of the new principal, Paul Nugent at the start of Term 4 last year, the school has been a high-pressure work environment with a focus on technology, and it was becoming isolated from the broader community.
According to Mr Kerr, the school’s outreach programs, which had involved excursions and experience with community groups, have all been cancelled.
“He (Mr Nugent) doesn’t believe the school has to be part of the community,” Mr Kerr said. “But without the community, the kids and the school couldn’t survive.
“I had to quit to get away from the place, and parents have even come to my door since I left, wondering where I’d gone.”
Read more in Monday’s Portland Observer.