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PTA seeks to stop principal transfer

PTA president at Clearwater Middle School Tanya Dyer

The Parent Teacher Association at Clearwater Middle School is exploring avenues to prevent the transfer of its principal — at a time when five more teachers are also set to leave.

President of the school’s PTA Tanya Dyer said she had only been informed earlier this month that principal Leyvette Robinson was to leave the school and parents are concerned about issues of consistency and leadership. The vice principal is also one of the six staff earmarked for transfer.

Ms Dyer told The Royal Gazette: “The PTA executive team is not happy with losing both our principal and vice principal — where would the consistency be?

“They told us about the teachers but then they threw in the news about the principal.

“She has only been there for three years but she has been a form of consistency — if children have issues she knows how to talk to them — it is a tight-knit environment. We would like to find a way to retain her here at least for one more year.

“We have always had issues with getting permanent teachers.

“Last September it took a few months before we got our French teacher and a few months to get another teacher.

“We are one of the smallest middle schools and this is a major shuffling at once and we think it is a bit much. My experience of being a PTA president is much more serious, we have to look at a lot of issues.”

Clearwater is among a host of schools experiencing teacher transfers this summer. Yesterday, this newspaper reported how the Bermuda Parent Teacher Student Association has written to Government complaining about inadequate consultation over the switches, which they fear could cause disruption.

Clearwater almost lost Ms Robinson in 2013 when a move was made to transfer her to the Ministry of Education but the school was able to negotiate that she stay.

Ms Dyer said: “Our principal was going to move to the Ministry just before Christmas and we were really upset. This is the issue the BPTSA has — it is with the process. I was told about the vice principal being transferred which was fine — I spoke to the incoming vice principal back in March or April and we were really excited to have a male vice principal come and support our principal. But I wasn’t really pulled in until June about the other teachers and the principal.

“I have had three children go through Clearwater and I have never experienced a shake-up like this.”

The Department of Education has stated the respective PTAs were involved in each proposed teacher transfer this summer.