Minister hopes for new Bendigo South East College principal soon

Education Minister James Merlino speaks with Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce on Thursday. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Education Minister James Merlino speaks with Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce on Thursday. Picture: DARREN HOWE

THE Education Department will be engaging with Bendigo South East College next week to try to find a new principal for the school following the resignation of Ernie Fleming.

Mr Fleming stepped down last month after an 18-month investigation into allegations of inappropriate practice and procedure.

Mr Fleming claimed he was denied “balance and procedural fairness” and access to relevant material.

Education minister James Merlino said he had expressed his concern with the department about the length of time of the investigation, and he was confident that any alleged issues uncovered at BSE had been addressed.

“It’s finding that right balance between ensuring integrity, doing the absolute right thing in the investigation, looking diligently into these issues and coming to the correct conclusions and also doing it in a timely way,” he said.

“I share the frustration of the Bendigo South East community that it did take longer than I would have liked and I have had a number of discussions with the secretary of the department to that end.”

Mr Merlino said the school community was right to expect a new principal sooner rather than later.

“I’m wanting for this to occur as soon as possible,” he said.

“I’m aware that the department is already engaging, or will be engaging, next week with the school in terms of the process to appoint a permanent principal.”