Chris Robinson, Chief Executive of the Department of Education and Children’s Service has issued the following advice for the Coober Pedy community including parents and caregivers regarding resolutions relating to issues at the Coober Pedy Area School.
“The investigation into issues raised at Coober Pedy Area School has now concluded.
It was clear from the investigation that issues at the school had placed the school’s principal under considerable pressure and divided the school community.
For this reason, I reached the view that it is no longer tenable for the school’s principal, Ms Sue
Burtenshaw, to return to her position.
This decision not to return the principal to the school has not been taken lightly, nor is it a
disciplinary measure. Rather, I have concluded that it is in the best interests of the students,
staff, community and Ms Burtenshaw that a new principal be appointed to Coober Pedy Area
I acknowledge the contribution of Ms Burtenshaw during her time as principal of the school and
the efforts she made to improve attendance, behaviour and literacy and numeracy
achievements at the school.
Discussions with Ms Burtenshaw about future roles are now occurring, so that she can continue to contribute to education in South Australia.
It is important the community now move forward and focus on the best interests of the students
at the school.
An acting principal, Mr Ron Pratt, has been appointed to the school until the end of the 2010
Mr Pratt has more than 25 years experience as a teacher and school leader, particularly in
schools with diverse education needs.
The role of principal at Coober Pedy Area School will be advertised so that a permanent
principal can be in place from the start of 2011.
I will visit Coober Pedy Area School at the start of Term 3 to talk to the Governing Council,
school staff and community about all of these processes”.
Chief Executive (DECS)