Shearwater Steiner School in Mullumbimby facing financial difficulties.
Shearwater Steiner School in Mullumbimby facing financial difficulties. DAVID NIELSEN

Local school works on solution

IT WAS business as usual for teachers and students at Mullumbimby’s Shearwater Steiner School yesterday – the day after parents voiced overwhelming support for the debt-laden institution.

The school called in administrators this week as it publicly declared its financial problems, and some parents expressed fears about where they could send their children if the school folded.

But when parents gathered on Thursday night to hear from PPB, the voluntary administrators, and the school’s board, the mood was ‘stunningly positive’, according to director Ian Howden.

He said the attitude was one of willingness to work toward a solution, and that everyone, administrators included, acknowledged that it was in their interests to make the school a success.

The school needed to find about $1.5 million in the ‘shortish term’, he said, and discussions were underway about how donations could contribute to raising that sum.

Another problem was unpaid fees, he said, and efforts were being made to recoup these, including from parents whose children had left the school.

An administration staffer reported that ‘so many people had been coming in and paying their fees’, yesterday morning.

Mr Howden admitted that there was a time last year when teachers had gone unpaid, but that this had been ‘caught up on’.

He said it was a sign of the high morale and belief in the school that not a single teacher had left as a result of that cash-flow crisis.

A meeting between PPB and the creditors was held yesterday afternoon to discuss repayment options.



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