A headmaster at one of Australia’s most elite schools has been sacked after a review criticised his leadership.
Shore School headmaster Tim Petterson began his role at the campus in North in 2020 and more than 90 staff members have left under his management.
Staff and parents of the 133-year-old Anglican school, where fees cost up to $37,350 a year, slammed Mr Petterson’s leadership style.
Earlier this year, he wrote a grovelling apology to staff, admitting he had been unintentionally ‘disrespectful, insensitive and unwise’.
Consultant Rhonda Brighton-Hall was hired by the school council to review the leadership culture of the school, identify reasons behind divisions, and look into concerns about Mr Petterson’s leadership.
Shore School headmaster Tim Petterson has been dismissed from the the role after a review
Staff and parents of the 133-year-old Anglican school, where fees cost up to $37,350 a year, slammed Petterson’s management style and leadership
Teachers had written to the school’s governing council about concerns and low staff morale, reported.
Brighton-Hall conducted interviews, read written submissions and carried out an anonymous survey before presenting the findings to the board.
Mr Petterson was informed of the council’s decision this week as the school was preparing to welcome boys back for term three. The school community will be told on Friday.
Mr Petterson has been replaced on an interim basis by John Collier, the former head of the prestigious St Andrew’s Cathedral School.
Chair of the council Bay Warburton said the decision had been made after ‘deep deliberation’.
‘This decision is not based on any suggestion of improper conduct on [Petterson’s] part,’ he said, in a letter sent to parents. ‘However, Council has concluded that in the interests of unity within the School, leadership renewal is required.
‘While council appreciates the significance of a change in leadership, https://bvespirita.com/ we believe that it is in the best interests of the School and its students.’
Mr Petterson was just the eighth principal at Shore, also known as Sydney Church of England Grammar School.
Its past students include Hollywood actor Errol Flynn, media mogul Frank Packer and former prime minister John Gorton.
The school is known as one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of the Sydney Anglican church. A quarter of students are sons or grandsons of old boys.
Teachers had written to the school’s governing council about concerns and low staff morale
Petterson was informed of the council’s decision this week as the school was preparing to welcome boys back for term three. The school community will be told on Friday
The school was previously in the news in April after pupils were banned from bringing laptops in.
Shore School initially allowed students to bring their own devices to class for their education under a Bring Your Own Device policy.
But the prestigious, single-sex Anglican college backflipped and introduced a ban after many boys became increasingly distracted by gambling, porn, social media and streaming sites instead of focusing on their teachers.
A former student who graduated from Shore School last year reportedly penned an article for the school’s newsletter elaborating on just how frequent laptop misuse amongst his peers was.
‘Students are gambling, gaming, scrolling through social media, watching Netflix, purchasing things on eBay, video conferencing with their friends and viewing pornography all while their teacher is addressing them,’ he said.
‘I am five weeks out from the trial HSC in one of the top classes and this is still happening every single day.’
The author wrote that ‘fewer than half of the students in most of my classes are paying full attention to teachers, with most staring blankly at their laptops’.
He recalled how one teacher had to stop his class ‘every 10 minutes’ to tell students to look up and pay attention.