Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Simone Russell and false compo claims

From Inside Carenne

Simone Russell, the Carenne School Admistration Manager has a history of making questionable workers compensation claims according to Lee has made another one.

Last year she claimed that she had a stress illness after her step-son was under investigation by the police and when she had pneumonia.

This year, she has claimed stress for most of the school term because her 16 year-old daughter got pregnant to one of her step-son's friends and then had a miscarriage (although Marg says that she was forced to have an abortion). I feel very sorry for Simone's daughter losing the baby but I think it is piss weak for Simone to make a false stress claim because of it and then use it on a blog to cover-up that she is posting.

Capebase caught out ripping off the SNTS

Independent investigations undertaken by Carenne Gate bloggers have revealed that despite being named and shamed on this blog in December that Capebase continues to defraud the NSW Department of Education and Training under its contract under the Special Needs Transport Service. Under the SNTS, operators are paid per kilometre traveled with bus escorts paid by the hour.

It was reported to investigators that Capebase's Blayney bus driven by Craig Graham doesn't return to Blayney on most days despite the driver and escort claiming they do. These claim forms are approved and verified by Carenne School staff. The Carenne Saviours claim that throughout 2009 Simone Russell signed claim forms she knew were incorrect for both the Blayney and Lithgow Capebase runs.

Scams under the SNTS were first exposed after documents were released proving that Carenne Support were defrauding the department.

On 11 March 2010 the bus that Craig Graham drives was seen at McDonalds Bathurst at 10:58AM.

Today at 31 March 2010 at 11:18AM the Blayney run's escort was seen shopping at Aldi while the bus was parked outside.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 4 of the Withyman case

The case bought against the state of NSW and former Carenne Special School teacher Anna Blackburn by former student David Withyman recommenced today, entering its fourth day before Judge Elkaim in the Sydney District Court.

The case entered the trial phase with David's mother Ruth giving evidence and undergoing cross-examination. The case will resume tomorrow morning at 10AM when Mrs Withyman will continue being cross-examined.

The case will for 10 days until 2 April.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Update on the Carenne "pig pen"

On October 27, 2009 it was posted to Sydney Indymedia that Peter Harvey had ordered a cover-up of child protection matters at Carenne Special School. As part of this, Mr Harvey told staff to stop using the "pig pen", an area where autistic students were kept when they were distressed.

It has been reported that this area was established in 2007 at the end of the demountable classrooms and used primarily by Ros Luther and Di Klavins. Use of the area was supported by two principals - Terry Mahony and Lyn Duncan with the support of the school executive. The area was moved when the demountable classrooms were moved at the end of 2008. jrosenberg, a poster on this blog claimed that the staff of Mrs Luther's class would not supervise the children while they were in the yard but instead had a mirror on the outside wall of the classroom that they would use to watch them. Staff say that the way the ramps to that classroom are set up that a student could be severely injured in the time it would take staff to reach them.

As can be seen in the photograph top-left taken in April 2009, the area has no shade or other protection from the elements and students have to endure the heat and cold when locked in this yard which could be for hours at a time.

Following Peter Harvey's order, Doug Rowe stored some steel in the area to look as though it hadn't been used and was just used for storage. He also let the grass grow long (up to knee height at one point) and staff were concerned that snakes may be in there. The grass is still kept higher than the rest of the playground for appearance sake.

Staff then began using the Liberty Swing yard (shown under the blue cover to the left) to lock distressed autistic students in. There isn't even a mirror to supervise students in this area as there is no window nearby.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Possible link between Carenne Support and DET Legal Unit found

Investigations carried out by Carenne Gate reporters have discovered a possible link between staff in the NSW DET Legal Unit and Carenne Support. The education department is providing free legal support to Carenne Support, who earns $185,000 per year from it.

The link comes from the Bathurst Historic Car Club of which Richard Baillie, a close friend of Patrick Quinn (the DET lawyer handling the case) and Terry Mahony, director of Carenne Support are directors.

While it may be coincidental, it could be the reason the department's legal unit is providing so much support to a contractor.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Parent survey a 'joke' says staff

Carenne Special School staff have supplied a copy of the survey sent home to parents and carers as part of the review to be undertaken at the school this week. Staff claim that the survey is a joke and is clearly intended to produce certain responses.

Staff claim some of the questions asked were ridiculous and that parents could not possibly answer them truthfully. "Questions like the one about school leaders and that the school caters to the learning needs of all students are just ridiculous, there is no way parents can know this. Parents can only answer about their own child not all students as a whole",

"It was written to get a certain response" said the staff member.

Concerns have been raised about the use of the review and the way in which it is being conducted since it was announced.

Evidence surfaces that Carenne Support defrauded the Lions Club

A flyer promoting the Bathurst Farmer's Markets provides evidence that Carenne Support Limited, the organisation at the centre of the Carenne Gate affair defrauded the Lions Club of Bathurst when they received two buses which were supposed to have been purchased for Carenne Special School.

The bottom of the flyer mentions the projects that the Lions Club of Bathurst has donated to and at the very top of the list is the "Bathurst Carenne Public School Bus Appeal".

It is not the first time that evidence has been found in the Bathurst community that benefactors believed the money they had donated went to Carenne Special School and not Carenne Support. In October last year a certificate of appreciation from Carenne Special School to McDonalds was posted on Sydney Indymedia.

After the photograph was posted, it was alleged that Simone Russell's husband Scott, a member of the NSW Police Force went in uniform to McDonalds and demanded the CCTV footage so he could identify who took the photograph.

It is clear that the community of Bathurst has been defrauded by Carenne Support, which now uses buses which were purchased for the school to receive over $180,000 per year under contract to the Department of Education and Training.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Experience from Dubbo shows that Carenne review will be a Snowden 'snow job'

Staff and parents of Dubbo College have expressed concern at the management review into Carenne Special School being ran by Peter Snowden. They allege that Snowden led the review team which looked into Dubbo College in 2007, which was nothing more than a snow job and stopped just short of blaming teachers for the department's mess.

A teacher said "It's a joke, you have this review in 2007 that says that there isn't that much wrong and it's a problem with staff needing to adapt, yet the headlines in the paper show different."

A parent said "I was told what the outcome of Snowden's snow job at Dubbo College was in 2007 and nothing which should have been looked at was, he is snow job Snowden."

A senior staff member at the department's regional office said "I can assure you that the review report has already been written, Snowden is one of those people the department sends in to look like they are doing something and to make it all go away. They will say that the problem is that a former employee has significant support in the school and that he and his supporters are destabilising it."

New site logo

Dear Readers,
As you would have noticed over the past few weeks we have been working to give the blog a fresh new look. I have created a new site logo which you might like to use in your promotional material.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Andrew Constance asks HREOC to investigate Seven Hills West Public School

Andrew Constance, disability spokesman for the NSW opposition has called on the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission to investigate the use of an area referred to as the cage or "pig pen" at Seven Hills West Primary School. The move while welcome gives little comfort to the parents and carers of students subjected to abuse at Carenne Special School in Bathurst.

As a brief overview to the child abuse at Carenne, I have created a summary which may be viewed here.

The shadow education minister Adrian Picolli and the opposition leader Barry O'Farrell along with other MPs both state and federal have been aware of the issues at Carenne School and have done nothing about it. It is no good for Mr Constance to call for an investigation into one school after it was exposed by mainstream media when his side of politics has been aware of the issues at Carenne for almost 12 months.

A wrap up of child abuse claims at Carenne Public School

Lee Churches jamming children's fingers in doors to stop them crying.

Staff yelling and screaming abuse at students.

Staff claiming that they reported the relationship between a teacher and student only to be told they were "being stupid" and fobbed off by former school principal Jock Roxborough.

Staff reporting an incident involving a bus escort and a student. They reported it to then principal Terry Mahony and were then subject to a number of attacks by the escort. When the escort began harassing parents at home after hours, the group decided it would begin writing complaints to sections of the department using an alias.

Physical restraints on students and the use of a "pig pen"

Staff calling the police on students with autism when they are having an episode

The hospitalisation of a student after he didn't receive therapy his parents were told he was

Michael Auld encouraging two students to fight each other

The destruction of evidence proving that Carenne Support was negligent

Forcing students to travel in a bus stinking of faeces

Students being exposed to mercury

A student running away from school, being lost and abused by an aide as well as being supplied with cigarettes

Michael Auld and Kym Tattersall sitting on a student to restrain him

Anybody who dares to speak out about this is subject to harassment. Parents have had confidential information leaked about them on this blog and Sydney Indymedia by Carenne staff, a whistleblower had his car attacked, a protester is alleged to have been carjacked and the continual slander of anyone who dares to speak out about Carenne.

Carenne Special School not the only school to have a "pig pen"

It has been revealed by Chris Smith on 2GB this afternoon that another NSW public school uses a fenced off area referred to as the "cage" or "pig pen".

Seven Hills West Public School has been outed as using a caged off dirt area under a tree to lock special needs children in. The department claimed in a statement, read on air that the students are supervised by a Student Learning Support Officer, which is not allowed under department policies.

I now wonder whether or not special needs students at SHWPS are subjected to the physical and emotional abuse that students are at Carenne Special School.

Vile Gerard under fire again

Bathurst MP Gerard Martin has come under fire for giving opposition MPs the finger during parliament on Tuesday. Read the ABC's full story here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Parent claims Terry Mahony misled special transport over escort

A parent has come forward and claimed that she was asked to sign a pre-written letter in 2008 telling the special transport branch of the education department that she would be happy for Jeremy Russell to be the escort on the bus that her child took to school. The parent claims that Mr Russell had been the escort on the bus for sometime and she was puzzled as to why she would need to sign this.

With the letter was a covering letter explaining that Mr Russell had been trialled on the bus and that if they were happy for him to be the usual escort to sign the attached letter. The attached letter said they had seen him work with Carenne students and made no mention of this trial period.

The parent claims that she was asked to sign a document which was intended to mislead the transport branch.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

YOUR SAY: What should the review focus on?

With the terms of reference being kept as a closely guarded secret, what do you believe should be focused on in the review to be conducted at Carenne Special School?

School review letter light on detail says expert

A senior officer of the NSW Department of Education and Training has criticised the letter sent home to parents by Neil Moon informing them of the forthcoming school review. The expert claims that the letter doesn't specify what type of review is being conducted nor the terms of reference.

The expert, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals said "Neil Moon needs to be frank and open with parents and tell them exactly what the review is. You can't say there is going to be a review, it will be transparent and not give the detail."

The expert told Carenne Gate reporters that the NSW Department of Education and Training has three types of reviews under its School Development Policy.

"The SDP allows for Education Support Teams, School Program Reviews and Management Reviews. ESTs are usually used to develop programs, SPRs to repair existing programs and management reviews are used where the management of the school is malignant,"

"Carenne is facing a Management Review," he said.

According to the department's policy, management reviews are used where "there is substantial evidence of significant dysfunction in the operation of the school as identified by the school education director."

This indicates that the department is well-aware of the poor management of the school by executive staff and the plethora of issues at the school.

The expert then said that the terms of reference of the review should be communicated to the school community.

"Why hasn't Neil Moon told parents what the terms of reference are, it is a transparent review, they should know what is being looked at."

He claimed that reviews do not guarantee confidentiality but anonymity, of which there is a significant difference. He went on to say:
"Neil Moon has made a right proper mess of the communication surrounding this review and parents have every right to be concerned, it shows the issues with the management team at Carenne."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Parents concerned about school self-evaluation

As part of the external review of Carenne Special School to commence next week, parents have been sent home school self-evaluation surveys. These surveys rate the areas of communication and culture from a parent's perspective.

Some parents have contacted me concerned about how confidential these evaluations will be. One parent said "They don't ask for them to be sent back in an envelope or anything, you are to send them back to school with your child, they will know who wrote what and we know how much some staff like to bully parents, it just won't be confidential."

Another parent said "This entire review process is just a front, if they were serious about sorting out Carenne they would have used a team from outside of the department, the problems at Carenne are far more serious than the department can handle itself, its just an attempt to slap on the window dressing."

These comments and concerns demonstrate the amount of faith parents have in the Department of Education and Training to conduct a fair and proper review into the issues at Carenne Special School.

Principal, teacher lose student, aide abuses him

It has been reported that one day last week, the principal of Carenne Special School Neil Moon and one of his teachers Nadine Dwyer went looking for a student who had ran away from school and into the park across the road. It is claimed that the student walked out the front door of the school, across busy Browning Street and into the park where he lit up a cigarette.

The incident was repeated on Monday and Tuesday of this week. On Monday nobody went looking for the student and on on Tuesday Karina Molenkamp stood opposite the park and yelled "get your fucking arse back here *****." A number of onlookers were horrified at the language used by Mrs Molenkamp towards the student.

It demonstrates how student safety is low on the list of priorities at Carenne Special School.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Parents claim school review will be biased

The Department of Education and Training is conducting an external review of Carenne Special School and parents claim that the review will be biased.

A letter sent to parents last week claims that an external team led by the Western NSW Schools Development officer will visit the school over the period 15 - 17 March. Parents have been advised that they may be invited to be interviewed by the review team and a random selection will be given survey forms to complete.

Parents have also been told that their children may be involved in interviews with the team.

The purpose of the review is to interview and survey parents and students and to analyse policies, procedures and documentation. The principal will be presented with a report discussing culture, communication and leadership which will be used by the Carenne executive to support forward planning.

One parent told me "They will only select parents who will say what they want for this review, they won't choose those of us who have concerns with the school, they will want to keep them under their hat," the parent said that she was concerned that the letter claimed all information will be confidential and protected by a code of conduct.

"They had a code of conduct when Lee Churches harassed that parent on that Indymedia website and they did nothing about it, it's not adequate protection."

Another parent said "They need to look at culture in the place alright, they need to look at the bullying and snowjobs."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another attack

This blog has been repaired after yet another attack by 'omerta' this morning. The attacker posted a photograph of the front of the school with the message - "the site is closed. This is an illegal website full of lies that is just a vehicle for abuse."

The original article by 'omerta' has been re-written to retain the comments