Teachers air complaints against principal

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Teachers at The Hill High School in Rosettenville are accusing the school’s principal of mismanaging the school, misusing school funds and hiring people for posts they’re not qualified to occupy.

In a litany of grievances listed in a petition sent to the district office, teachers accuse principal Sean Marques of:

* Not being transparent about the school’s finances and not consulting with staff and parents on financial and policy issues.

* Allowing the school governing body (SGB) to hire teachers without the relevant qualifications.

* Causing divisions among staff and being “rude and defensive”.

* Controlling the SGB and acting as SGB treasurer.

The SGB has 32 staff members on its R200 000 payroll.

Teachers say this number is too high, that some of these staff don’t have any duties and it’s not clear why they were hired.

The investigation by the district office, whose results were reported to the school in June last year, found that to a large extent the allegations were true and made recommendations.

However, more than a year later, teachers say nothing has changed and the situation at the school has worsened.

The district office found that the school had appointed less qualified staff over existing teachers who were better qualified and that most of the SGB meetings didn’t have a quorum. It recommended that the SGB review all its appointments.

Teachers say the recommendations weren’t implemented and that the SGB members continued to ignore instructions given to them.

A teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, said the school was losing good teachers because of the politicking.

On Sunday, Marques said he was unable to respond because departmental policy prevented him from speaking to the media.

Gauteng Department of Education spokesman Charles Phahlane said the department “is engaging the school regularly with regard to the concerns that have been raised”.

“We have two grievances related to the filling of a vacant head of department post… We are also engaging with the school management team regarding the management concerns,” he said.

The SGB’s chairwoman, Brenda dos Santos, didn’t respond to questions The Star sent to her.

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The Star


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