Update from the Board of Directors

9 August 2019

Dear Parents and Carers, 

The Board of Hillcrest Christian College is concerned that recent media reports of claims about aspects of the School’s operations are damaging the reputation of the College, and creating an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction for the College’s staff and students.

The Board cannot allow this to continue, and accordingly wishes to update the College community on a number of matters. 

Review of complaints

The College has a range of policies and procedures in place to ensure staff and students are safe, and which enable complaints about the School and its staff to be dealt with through an appropriate process.

The Board acknowledges that it has received complaints in relation to three senior staff, one of whom is Executive Head of College, Jeff Davis. The other two are no longer employed by the College.

The Board has previously taken initial legal advice regarding complaints about Mr Davis, which found no grounds for the suspension or termination of his employment. However, out of respect for Mr Davis and the individuals who have made complaints, the Board has now appointed independent legal counsel to review these complaints and provide recommendations. 

The Board continues to support Mr Davis in his role as Executive Head of College, and asks that the College community respect the process being followed in the interests of allowing the College’s staff and students to remain focused on teaching and learning in the second half of the year. 

Non-State Schools Accreditation Board (NSSAB)

Claims have also been made that the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board is investigating the College. The College has not been informed by NSSAB that any investigation is under way, and the Board has no reason to believe that NSSAB is taking any action. Without confirmation from NSSAB, any claims of an ongoing investigation are unfounded and unnecessarily damage the reputation of the College.

I Love Reading (ILR)

Further inferences have been made about the College’s I Love Reading program. ILR is a business owned by the College, and the College has funded its development with the aim of creating a successful and effective accelerated reading program. 

That goal has been achieved and ILR now needs external funding and support to continue to reach its potential. As a result, the College has agreed terms for the sale of ILR to investors who can provide that support, which is beyond the College’s core business. After the sale, the proceeds will allow ILR to fully repay its loans to the College and provide a meaningful surplus to re-invest in the school. 

Hillcrest Christian College will continue to use the I Love Reading program as part of its Early Learning Literacy program.

Moving forward

Hillcrest provides a nurturing and safe place for students and staff, and has a justified reputation for excellence in teaching and learning. As Executive Head of College, Jeff Davis has been instrumental in developing that reputation.

The Board is very disappointed that claims made anonymously through the media and social media – rather than through the College’s established complaint management processes – have undermined Hillcrest’s good name.

We are grateful for the continuing support of the vast majority of the College community who want nothing more than to see the College succeed, and for the efforts of staff to keep our students focused during this time. 

This update ensures the community is properly informed about these matters. The Board encourages members of the College community to consider whether any further claims about the College and its staff are motivated by the best interests and values of Hillcrest.

Hillcrest Christian College Board of Directors