7 June 2023

Head of Primary School to depart Wagga Wagga Christian College as board bunkers down

| Chris Roe
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Wagga Wagga Christian College (WWCC) head of primary school, Dr Jane Greenlees, will leave at the end of term. Photo: WWCC.

Two weeks after the Wagga Wagga Christian College (WWCC) board sacked principal Phillip Wilson, it appears that the much-loved head of primary school, Dr Jane Greenlees, will also leave after resigning this week.

“It is with sadness that we inform you that Mrs Jane Greenlees, our Head of Primary School, will be leaving us at the end of this term,” wrote acting principal Rachel McClure in a post on the school’s social media.

“Jane has been a highly valued member of the College staff for seven years, and her impact on the Primary School has been enormous.”

While the WWCC has not replied to Region’s enquiries on Dr Greenlees’ future or last month’s decision by the board, the news began circulating on social media on Tuesday (6 June). It was confirmed to parents and stakeholders on Wednesday afternoon.

READ ALSO Parents and staff fuming after being blindsided by principal’s sacking

Multiple parents have reached out to Region to express their continued frustration at the “bunker mentality” they say is keeping parents in the dark.

“They have won and many parents are feeling very defeated and devastated,” wrote one parent who said they no longer feel comfortable commenting publicly on the situation.

“The board has failed the community of Wagga Wagga Christian College and has broken a beautiful community of educators and families working in partnership.”

That community was left reeling by last month’s mid-week confirmation that the board had “collectively decided that Mr Phillip Wilson will leave his position as Principal,” with little explanation as to why.

At a subsequent meeting with the school leadership, parents say they were told that “a dysfunctional relationship with Mr Wilson” was behind the decision to remove him and that the board was “not given the opportunity to handle the situation in the way they had hoped”.

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While not articulating what the preferred approach would have been, a staff member (who has also resigned) was blamed for leaking the news and forcing the board’s hand. Parents were scolded for the outcry on social media.

“The board continued to hide behind staff and families as the reason for the social media storm and PR nightmare this became,” the parent said.

Ms McClure was installed as acting principal just days after the news of Mr Wilson’s sacking emerged, and she issued an invitation to meet with parents “to discuss the changes in leadership at the college”.

While some have confirmed that they have arranged to meet with Ms McClure, they say it is the broader leadership and the board that they need an explanation from.

“Being a community-based, parent-lead school, I didn’t actually think that it was possible for this to even happen,” said a second parent who also asked to remain anonymous.

“We feel like the board’s really just not taking any responsibility for their actions at all,”

“They act like they’re above having to explain themselves, above being replaced and they are making all their decisions without consulting parents.”

A petition calling for Mr Wilson to be reinstated and for the board to resign was presented to the school with over 400 signatures, but the instigator confirmed to Region that they have so far received no response.

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