Principal of elite Queensland school in shock resignation
THE principal at one of Brisbane's elite private schools, whose enrolment numbers have plummeted, has resigned after only three years in the top job.
Clayfield College parents were notified today about the departure of Kathy Bishop, who led the school through some of its most turbulent times.
Last year the Prep to Year 12 college, run by the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association, became embroiled in a long-running scandal over governance of the four PMSA schools, including Somerville House, Brisbane Boys' College and Sunshine Coast Grammar School.
Early last year a report by breakaway group Beyond PMSA alleged the church body had mismanaged funds, and it identified "a continuing cycle of reduced enrolments requiring cost reductions" leading to "an effective death spiral".
Since 2011 enrolment numbers have fallen from 933 to 616, records show.
In the letter to parents from Anne Bennett, chairman of Clayfield College Council, said Mrs Bishop's resignation was regrettable.
"Clayfield College is a wonderful school with such a strong sense of belonging," she said.
"It has been a privilege to work alongside so many inspiring staff and I am proud to lead such caring and engaged students. I am grateful for the support of the College Council and my executive team and I wish the Clayfield family all the very best for the future."
Mrs Bishop, only the sixth principal of the college since it opened in 1930, was praised for her "outstanding stewardship, strong work ethic and dedication to Christian servant leadership".
"Through her tireless efforts, she has created a community where students feel a sense of belonging and strive to genuinely try their best in all aspects of life," Dr Bennett said.
"The Clayfield College Council will immediately begin the recruitment process working with a specialist recruitment firm to appoint another outstanding principal."
Mrs Bishop, who previously held executive positions at Ipswich Girls' Grammar School and St Margaret's Anglican Girls' School, will stay until the end of the school year.
Mrs Bishop was acting principal in January 2016 and was announced as principal in September 2016.