Embattled elite school principal resigns
AN EMBATTLED elite private school principal has resigned, months after being on extended personal leave amid scandals over allegations of bullying, a mass staff exodus and plummeting academic results.
James Sloman, executive principal of Moreton Bay College and Moreton Bay Boys College in Manly West, tendered his resignation today and a letter sent by the schools' joint board to parents this afternoon said he and his family had decided to "move on to the next phase of their lives".
The controversial leader's exit follows months of speculation over the reasons behind his long-term absence from the colleges since the beginning of the 2020 school year.
Mr Sloman, who has been under investigation since August last year for alleged bullying behaviour and who subsequently launched his own "stop-bullying" complaint against the colleges with the Fair Work Commission, also sent a letter to parents, saying his personal leave had been a "period of reflection, introspection and prayer".
Mr Sloman denies the allegations.
THE SCHOOL'S LETTER TO PARENTS CONCERNING THE RESIGNATION
3 July 2020
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
As you know, our Executive Principal, Mr James Sloman, has been on personal leave for much of this year. Mr Sloman advised the Board that this has been a time of personal reflection for him.
After five and a half years with the Colleges, Mr Sloman and his family have decided to move on to the next phase of their lives, and as a result, he has tendered his resignation to the Board of Governors. Today will be his last day in the role. We wish to sincerely thank Mr Sloman for his service and contribution during his time with the Colleges.
Mr Sloman has asked us to share a letter to the community (enclosed below) and express to you all his gratitude for the opportunity to drive a whole of school improvement agenda.
There are many achievements of which the Colleges can be proud, including a new Strategic Plan and a new Master Plan for the continued infrastructure development and built environment. The Colleges enjoy a strong financial position with a secure future.
During the recent absence of Mr Sloman, the robustness of our succession planning enabled us to delegate authority to the Heads of College, Mrs Janet Stewart and Mr Andrew Holmes, and the other senior College leaders. Since then, Janet and Andrew have continued the clear direction for our Colleges and our people, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to guiding them through the challenges of COVID-19.
Janet and Andrew's highest priority continues to be the wellbeing of our students and staff, and we are all focused on providing an exceptional and supportive learning environment that supports our students to be the best they can be.
Moving forward, the Colleges will continue business as usual as the Board works with the Heads of College to determine the right senior leadership model to best support our future plans and the needs of our community.
With a history of over 119 years, our success is underpinned by the strength of our community, the professionalism of our people and our commitment to the holistic development of each student in our care.
On behalf of the Board, we look forward to your continuing support in 2020, and we will keep you updated on College decisions as to the best leadership platform moving forward.
Chair of the Board
Moreton Bay College and Moreton Bay Boys' College Board of Governors
JAMES SLOMAN'S LETTER TO PARENTS
3 July 2020
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
As you know I have been on personal leave for much of this year. It has been a period of reflection, introspection and prayer. It has afforded me the time to reflect on my time as a school leader and importantly the reasons why I choose to be a leader. After 22 years as a school administrator, my wife Angeline, our boys and I have decided to move on, into the next phase of our lives. As a result, I have tendered my resignation to the Board of Governors as the Executive Principal of both Moreton Bay College and Moreton Bay Boys' College.
I would take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Board generally, and the then Board Chair Mr Graham Dredge in particular. They saw in me a leader who could drive a whole school improvement agenda and bring the two colleges together as one community. Together, the Board and the school executive have much to be proud of from the last six years. The collaboration has produced a new Strategic Plan which maps out an exciting
and compelling future for the Colleges as well as a new Master Plan for the continued infrastructure development and built environment. In my time with the Board there have been numerous governance practices put in place that should give the school community confidence that the colleges are in good hands. The determined work of the then Chief Financial Officer, Mrs Nicole Hawkins along with the Finance Committee of the Board has resulted in the Colleges enjoying a strong financial position with a very secure future.
There are many developments and initiatives put in place over the years. Perhaps too many to list however, the focus on our girls and our boys has been at the forefront of our work together. Their academic progress and well-being have provided a broad framework that has seen data-analytics programs to focus curriculum and instructional practices, deprivatised pedagogical practices as well as the launch of an evidence-based wellbeing framework. The co-curricular programs have been a way to bring our boys and girls together to learn with, alongside and from each other. Our combined music program is the envy of other schools and sport continues to go from strength to strength. There is certainly much to be proud of.
Our relationship with the Uniting Church is a critical one and our entire community should cherish this. Their oversight of our Colleges, spiritual leadership and pastoral care for us all as a community is a true blessing. I am most appreciative of the spiritual guidance of the Rev. Peter Lockhart in particular Personally, I am most proud of the work we have put in to growing people. Our staff continually make a difference every day with their work ethic, creativity, and student-centred engagement. As a Principal, I gain great joy and job satisfaction in working with leaders and supporting them in their growth, both as leaders and as people. This is an area where I see myself working into the future. I have been fortunate to be accepted to work with an international consultancy collective where I can work with aspiring and existing leaders across both education and corporate sectors.
There are so many people to thank however please allow me the indulgence of commending to you the two Heads of College, Mrs Janet Stewart and Mr Andrew Holmes. They are both outstanding school leaders who have proven themselves as more than capable of leading their respective Colleges well into the future. They, along with their leadership teams, should inspire great confidence in our staff, our parents and our students.
As my time at the Moreton Bay Colleges comes to an end I have been blessed to be here, grateful to the Board for their belief and support and touched by the many, many private messages of support in recent months.
Courage and hope
Originally published as Embattled elite Brisbane school principal resigns