An insider has slammed Brisbane Boys’ College’s culture after three more resignations and a number of teachers and non-teaching staff on stress leave.
An insider has slammed Brisbane Boys’ College’s culture after three more resignations and a number of teachers and non-teaching staff on stress leave.

School's ‘alarming’ crisis as staff leave

Three more staff have resigned from Brisbane Boys' College, taking the total number of departures this year to an "alarming" 14.

It comes as several other teachers and non-teaching staff have taken stress leave in the last three months.

Long-serving human resources manager Kirsten Ferguson, admissions co-ordinator Alice Wilson and infrastructure architect Jesse Haubner are the latest to leave the elite school which has been plagued by turmoil also involving its governing body, the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools' Association.

"It is alarming and completely unacceptable to have so many people leaving, and the culture within the school is really poor," an insider told The Courier-Mail.

Brisbane Boys College headmaster Paul Brown resigned this year.
Brisbane Boys College headmaster Paul Brown resigned this year.

Already this year BBC headmaster Paul Brown has resigned, amid allegations he was "unfairly pushed" by the PMSA following the handling of an alleged sexting and alleged gang-bashing scandal, and deputy headmaster Peter Franks left, telling colleagues in an email the PMSA and BBC school council had treated staff in a "reprehensible" way.

Other departures include director of community engagement Lea Walker-Franks, director of marketing Kristie Welsh, financial controller Trish Whellum, technology services director Lee

Pickering, facilities manager Simon Cox, payroll officer Carole Thomas, IT department employees Daniel Pye and Zachary Menolotto, and print room manager Gerry Gleeson (who retired).

When asked about the latest resignations and staff on stress leave, acting BBC headmaster Damon Emtage said the college was "a large organisation with a staff of more than 300 people".

"Like all large organisations, the reality is some staff leave us and we wish them well for their future endeavours.

"As one of Queensland's leading independent schools, BBC continues to go from strength to strength, building on our outstanding success of 2020 both in the classroom and on the sporting field."

 

The PMSA is yet to appoint a replacement for the headmaster's job, but insiders have claimed the recruitment process is "a farce" and that the PMSA has been speaking with the preferred candidate - an interstate-based BBC old boy who has the support of a few influential parents - for months.

Fourteen staff have left Brisbane Boys’ College so far this year.
Fourteen staff have left Brisbane Boys’ College so far this year.

The PMSA, which in March hired a $500-an-hour public relations' firm to handle its crisis communications, has denied the recruitment allegations.

In February, lawyer Bridget Cullen quit her positions on both the PMSA and BBC school council and PMSA after a social media scandal in which she was accused of stereotyping poor people and using obscene and "horrific" language.

At the time Dr Cullen was acting chair of the BBC council following the August 2020 resignation of Mark Gray, who slammed an "unreasonable increase in the school contribution in 2020 to fund the PMSA corporate office".

Also last year BBC was embroiled in an alleged sexting and subsequent alleged gang-bashing incident involving several year 9 boys that saw parents sue Mr Brown and the college for negligence and sought $750,000 in damages.

The case has since settled.

The four boys who were expelled over the alleged issue were later dramatically reinstated by the PMSA and resumed classes in offices beside the PMSA headquarters nearby in Toowong.

Originally published as Teachers on stress leave, 14 staff leave: BBC's 'alarming' crisis