Industrial Disputes

Burtenshaw welcomes Teachers Appeal Board’s findings

Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers has represented Sue Burtenshaw in a dispute with DECS in South Australia.

7/10/11: The Advertiser, ABC News

School principal Sue Burtenshaw, the South Australian State School Leaders Association (SASSLA) and Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers have welcomed today’s findings from the Teachers Appeal Board.

The Board ruled that the decision made by the Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) to permanently transfer Ms Burtenshaw from Coober Pedy Area School was “unjust and unreasonable”.

The Board also said Ms Burtenshaw “came across as a passionate and dedicated person who brought a number of positive attributes to the job.”

“We have no doubt she was extremely competent in a number of areas and that given some appropriate support and guidance and the removal of unhelpful interference by others her tenure as principal of CPAS would have been successful and uneventful.”

 Ms Burtenshaw said today’s decision was “positive” and hopes to return to her position as principal of Coober Pedy Area School.

“Even after this two year dispute, I remain just as passionate for the job, the school and the Coober Pedy community as ever,” she said. “I am committed to teaching these children and helping them learn, grow and develop in a safe environment.”

Ms Burtenshaw’s legal team will now meet with DECS to discuss the possibility of a reinstatement.

“It is a matter for discussion with the new chief executive (of DECS) but we are hopeful, and look forward to positive discussions,” Tindall Gask Bentley managing partner Morry Bailes said.

Ms Burtenshaw said the two year dispute has been a “taxing period” not only for herself but also her supporters.

“I’d like to thank my husband, Phil, and the rest of my loving family who have been there by my side every step of the way, along with my friends and colleagues, and the many others who offered messages of support over the journey,” she said.

Ms Burtenshaw also thanked Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers and SASSLA for their representation throughout the dispute.

“We’ve been able to offer ongoing support both professionally and personally throughout this long ordeal, and to see this result handed down is really positive for Sue, her family and of course our association,” SASSLA president Jeff Wait said.

“School leaders have to be strong in lots of ways, we have to deal with many situations where there is confrontations, different points of view, and that’s exactly what has happened here,” Mr Wait said.

Click here for the full statement from Sue Burtenshaw.

South Australian State School Leaders Association