Are you considering enrolling your child at Taradale Intermediate School?
If so, then we urge you to read the following.
Our son is in his second year at TIS. From an academic perspective the school is fine.
(In fact apart from a couple of notable exceptions the teaching staff are excellent).
However recently he was involved in an incident in which a girl in class was injured.
In the aftermath a teacher (Nikki Shakeshaft) behaved entirely inappropriately.
It was when we raised our concerns about this teacher that the true nature of the school and its attitude toward parents became apparent.
The principal (Dennis Coxon) chose to neither discuss nor deal with the matter, passing the matter directly to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (Warwick Thomas)
(Coxon claimed at the time that this was to preclude any accusation of bias on his part. But it has become clear that he did so was because he was secure in the knowledge that the Board would just attempt to whitewash the issue and, when that failed, simply refuse to acknowledge any further communications).
When Warwick Thomas finally responded we found that he had totally ignored our complaint against Nikki Shakeshaft. Instead he chose to respond with what amounted to a diatribe against our son with the intent of scaring us into silence.
(This response had been written without discussing it with ourselves, talking to the children involved or undertaking any proper investigation of the matter).
We wrote a very detailed response to that letter, taking each of their five points in turn and showing precisely why he was wrong in each case. We also clearly asked for a reply on certain issues and for our complaint against Nikki Shakeshaft to be responded to.
The response from the board and our rebuttal can be viewed here.
No response was forthcoming, in fact it became impossible to elicit a response either from Thomas or Coxon until we involved the Department of Education when we received a final email from Thomas. In it he:-
- Refused to respond to our rebuttal because the matter was
(in other words he would not respond because he knew that he was in the wrong).
- Chose not to explain 'why' he would not address the matter of Shakeshaft's inappropriate behaviour.
- Failed to provide information we had specifically requested
(Information that we are still waiting to receive).
- Offered to meet with us but then rambled on with some psychobabble about why we couldn't meet (!!!!!).
- Lied about why he had not responded sooner.
So there we have it. A school body meltdown and a bullying teacher who acts as she wishes courtesy of a cowardly principal and lying chairman who hold in contempt any parent that has the gall to complain.
This of course is only our side of the story, so on this website you will find all of the dialogue between us and the school so that you can decide for yourself.
Unlike the school, we have nothing to hide.
Although we cannot have this matter resolved, we hope that by publicly exposing their behaviour it will be difficult for them to act in such a high-handed manner in future.
Let me close with this:-
In an attempt to elicit a proper response we finally involved our solicitor.
Strangely, that triggered a prompt reply and the suggestion of mediation.
So if you are considering enrolling your child at Taradale Intermediate School,
we urge you to do so ONLY if you can budget for legal representation.