School focuses on restructuring after losing registration

  • 11/09/2015
The school has been shut down over concerns for the safety of its students
The school has been shut down over concerns for the safety of its students

By Kim Vinnell

An emergency meeting is underway in south Auckland after it was announced Pacific Christian School is being shut down over concerns for the safety of students.

The school made headlines last year when a student stabbed another student in the head with scissors, but now teachers have also been accused of violence.

"A while back we had people come to our house and we had to answer questions and stuff, just if I knew any problems within the school, but I didn't and I don't," says one parent.

But it appears others did know.

Tongan Council member Melino Meko was called in to help with a policy overhaul last year after the incident with the scissors.

"[There were] allegations about the teachers physically punishing the kids and that really upset me, because here in New Zealand there's no need for that," says Mr Meko.

It emerged the principal has only a limited authority to teach and that several teachers are also being investigated.

"The school decided not to cooperate with the investigation into those complaints, so police and Child, Youth and Family had a good look at them, and as a result police have issued warnings to four teachers and have referred those teachers to the Education Council," Ministry of Education spokesperson Katrina Casey says.

In a statement, the school says it's working with the Ministry of Education on a programme of restructuring and strategic development. It calls the suspension period an "opportunity".

But there are no guarantees it will reopen, as the ministry will only reinstate the licence once it's happy students are safe and the school is practising what it preaches.

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