Top private school flags internal review as tempers flare

Top private school flags internal review as tempers flare

The 2018 student school leaders of Melbourne's prestigious Trinity Grammar School have urged all students to wear casual clothes with brown tape around their wrist today in a show of solidarity with the school’s sacked deputy principal, Rohan Brown.

In a statement yesterday, the student group said they were “utterly hurt, angry and disappointed” with the sacking of Brown, which took place after he cut a student’s hair on school photo day.

“To show how inseparable Brownie is from our community, every boy from Year 7-12 has been encouraged to wear brown tape of their wrist,” the statement read.

Students arrived at school today wearing tape around their arms, while others have been seen wearing an open-collared shirt, instead of a tie.

The Old Trinity Grammarians’ Association (OTGA) said it will convene tonight to discuss a motion to overthrow the school council and principal, Dr Michael Davies, whose actions they say are “out of step” with the school community.

To address serious concerns about Trinity Grammar’s leadership, the school said it will launch a review into its governance model, constitution and the composition of its council.

“This work will be carried out by an independent expert in governance and administration who has experience in education,” the statement read.

“The school will work to appoint someone to lead the review and determine its scope in the coming days.”

Trinity Grammar School Council Chairman, Rod Lyle, said the school was “attuned” to the fact that the school was “experiencing a difficult period”.

“We trust that in opening-up sensible, constructive and respectful discussion with our concerned community, we will be able to work through key matters to move forward,” Lyle said.

“We encourage our school community to enter discussions in good faith and with intent to resolve matters through good dialogue.”

Trinity Grammar’s Headmaster, Dr Michael Davies, said the school takes its duty of care to students, staff and the wider community seriously.

“We have reached out regularly to the boy involved in the February incident over the past days. We have also been in touch with Rohan Brown over the weekend,” Dr Davies said.

“Trinity’s staff have been reminded that an Employee Assistance Program is available to them, and other support and counselling services are available to school community members, including students.”

On the weekend, Parents’ Association Committee met with the Chairman and representatives of Trinity’s School Council to ask questions and clarify a number of points in relation to the process and events leading up to the events of last Friday.

This morning, a member of the Committee, who wished to remain anonymous, said they were confident that Trinity’s school council would accept and implement the recommendations of the review, whatever the outcomes will be.

 “We are confident that this due process will deliver a fair and appropriate solution,” the source told The Educator.

“We are also pleased that the School Council has agreed to undertake a comprehensive review of its governance frameworks, which includes its Constitution and the composition of the Council.”

During our meeting, the source said it was also confirmed that Dr Davies was not involved in the initiation or the decision to dismiss Brown, adding that the Headmaster does not have the authority to do so.

“The Parents’ Association Committee acknowledges that the Headmaster was prepared to be criticised for an outcome that he did not initiate or have any influence over,” the source said.

“As a community, we need to focus on the future. For the sake of our boys, their wellbeing and their education, we ask you to remain calm and support the review process that is underway.”

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