CHAIRMAN’S LETTER TO THE ST ANNE’S COMMUNITY
12th June 2020
As you are aware, more than forty current and former pupils of St Anne’s have accused teachers and fellow pupils of discriminatory conduct dating back to 2014. We take these claims, and the demands received from old girl’s on 11 June, very seriously, and are committed to urgently investigate each claim independently, and in a way that ensures confidentiality and prevents victimisation.
We acknowledge those who have had the courage to speak out; their expressed pain and anger are heard and deeply regretted. The issues highlighted by them have exposed weaknesses in our systems that the board, management team, and teaching staff will use to implement lasting solutions that foster social cohesion and remove discrimination in all of its forms from our school.
To this end, the board has set up a sub-committee to oversee the establishment of a task team that will be chaired independently. This task team will ensure that all allegations are investigated, make recommendations to the board to take remedial action where necessary, and engage with disaffected stakeholders to shape longer term solutions. The task team will begin its work in the coming week.
Initially such engagements will prioritise pupils who have spoken out and their parents, plus old girls. These engagements will be used to develop interventions to equip pupils, teachers, and parents to better manage social inequity, cultural diversity, and inclusivity, and also to deepen attitudes of respect and tolerance, including attitudes modelled in our homes. Structural reforms, specifically targeting racism, are also anticipated as an outcome of the task team.
As a Christian school operating under the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, we embrace diversity, the role of enabling every pupil to identify her unique purpose in life, and the development of Christ-like character for the benefit of our future society, especially kindness, humility, honesty, generosity, and forgiveness. We are determined to restore our school’s reputation, and the willingness of each member of our community to be an ambassador.
In closing, we humbly request your support and patience in allowing the task team to proceed with its role of reconciliation within our community.
Chairman of the Board