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Union calls for calm after principal stood down

UPDATE: The Queensland Teachers' Union has urged calm and patience as an internal review is carried out into Oakey State High School.

The Chronicle revealed acting principal Tracy Tully had been stood down from the role she held since 2014 pending a review into what the Department of Education and Training termed "managerial issues".

QTU organiser Zeb Sugden said it was critical any review into issues raised in relation to Oakey State High School be "fair, fast and thorough".

"It is important that natural justice be provided to the acting principal and that all relevant views should be heard," Mr Sugden said.

He said the review had no impact on how the school was being run at the hands of acting principal Scott Edmunds, formerly of Crows Nest State School.

"It is business as usual for the teachers and school leaders at Oakey SHS," Mr Sugden said.

"The teachers will continue to provide students with engaging and high quality lessons.

"These events will not distract teachers from ensuring their students receive an exceptional standard of education.

"Student goals will continue to be achieved with the guidance and help of their teachers and support from their parents."

The Department of Education and Training, which is carrying out the internal review, did not stipulate how long the review would take or state when an outcome would be known.
 

WEDNESDAY 6.50AM: A DARLING Downs high school principal has been stood down pending the outcome of an internal review being carried out by the Department of Education and Training.

The review has been launched over concerns relating to Oakey State High School, believed to centre around acting principal Tracy Tully who was appointed to the school in August 2014.

The Department of Education and Training yesterday confirmed to The Chronicle it had initiated a review into Oakey State High School "in response to concerns raised".

A department spokesman declined to elaborate what those concerns were, how they were raised and who by, but a leaked internal memo obtained by The Chronicle states "a number of managerial issues" had been identified at the school.

"A confidential departmental process is being implemented to examine these issues," the leaked document, entitled 'Special staff bulletin', read.

"To enable this process to occur in a timely and thorough manner, acting principal Tracy Tully will be absent from our school for some time."

The memo was signed by Darling Downs South West Region acting regional director Russell Simpson and assistant regional director David Ballin.

Mr Ballin did not return calls yesterday.

The Department of Education and Training declined to clarify the timeline for the review into Oakey State High School despite questions as to when, and how, staff will be informed of its progress.

"Parties to this review are entitled to natural justice and must be afford the appropriate level of confidentiality, privacy and procedural fairness," the spokesman said.

According to the staff bulletin, Crows Nest State School principal Scott Edmunds was appointed acting principal at Oakey State High School from Wednesday, April 13, "pending a selection process to appoint an acting principal".

The letter was delivered to staff dated April 12.

It called for staff to continue focusing on education outcomes in the interest of students and the community.

"The most important and helpful action that staff can now take is to continue the critical work of excellent teaching and learning in the school, and not to engage in speculative conversation," the memo read.

"This is imperative for the progress of our students, and for public confidence in our school."

EARLIER: A DARLING Downs school principal has been stood down pending the outcome of an investigation into "a number of managerial issues".

Oakey State High School staff were notified in an internal memo earlier this month that acting principal Tracy Tully "will be absent" from the school for "some time".

"A number of managerial issues have recently been identified at Oakey State High School," the special staff bulletin, signed by Darling Downs South West Region acting regional director Russell Simpson and assistant regional director David Ballin, read.

"A confidential departmental process is being implemented to examine these issues.

"To enable this process to occur in a timely and thorough manger, acting principal Tracy Tully will be absent from our school for some time."

The letter advises staff Scott Edmunds from Crows Nest State School will replace Ms Tully for "a few weeks" pending the outcome of a selection process for the position.

"The most important and helpful acting that staff can now take is to continue the critical work of excellent teaching and learning in the school, and not to engage in speculative conversation," the bulletin said.

"This is imperative for the progress of our students, and for public confidence in our school."

The Department of Education and Training has been contacted for comment.



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