St Peters calls in Worksafe over absent Principal

In a twist to the saga of the absent principal at St Peter’s Cambridge, the school has revealed via a public relations company that it is talking to the country’s primary workplace health and safety regulator.

It is understood Dale Burden has not returned to school since the new term began and neither has wife Yevette Williams, who is a deputy principal.

The News understands the couple are still living in the school-provided house on the school grounds.

In a statement released today (May 13) the school says: “we are now able to let you know that WorkSafe has been notified of concerns about the wellbeing of some of St Peter’s staff and is making inquiries.

Worksafe’s website explains it employs over 550 staff who work to lift health and safety performance, “supporting New Zealanders to return home from work healthy and safe”.

St Peters Cambridge said that following a Board representative meeting with WorkSafe, it began an investigation, which is ongoing, and is continuing to work with WorkSafe.

The News understands there has been a significant turnover of staff at the school in the past 12 months.

The statement revealed campus principal Julie Small had addressed all students during Chapel.

“Students are understandably concerned about the speculation surrounding the School and Julie reiterated that we will continue to support them. Our teachers, deans, learning group coaches, Chaplains and wellbeing teams are all available for any student, as is Julie Small.”

The statement said Ms Small outlined to students that it was important “we are careful about what we say about people”.

Ms Small was previously principal at Fairfield College but resigned in 2011 after a commissioner was brought in. From there she went to Mount Roskill Grammar School as one of two associate principals before joining St Peter’s in 2016.

Early this week the school cited privacy issues for not explaining the absence of its executive principal and stressed it was school as usual.

Mr Burden has been head of the private school since 2016.

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