St Kevin’s headmaster resigns following grooming scandal

Stephen Russell (ABC News/Four Corners)

The headmaster of St Kevin’s College in Melbourne has resigned and the school’s dean of sport has been stood down following revelations about the college’s response to the grooming of a student by a former sports coach. Source: ABC News.

By Louise Milligan, Laura Gartry, Mary Fallon, Lauren Day and staff, ABC News

The Toorak school has been in damage control since a Four Corners investigation revealed the headmaster and the sport head provided references for convicted child sex offender Peter Kehoe, but did not support the victim during the court process.

In a letter to parents yesterday, headmaster Stephen Russell said that to prioritise the wellbeing of the school and students in the current situation, his best option was to resign.

“In my time at St Kevin’s I have always tried to put the school before self and the students’ wellbeing at the very top of my list of priorities. I believe the current situation means that the best way to achieve this is to resign,” Mr Russell’s letter said.

Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA), which oversees the school, announced the school’s dean of sport, Luke Travers – who had also issued an employment reference and character evidence for Kehoe – had been stood down pending further investigations of issues raised during the Four Corners program.

Until the announcement, EREA had publicly supported Mr Russell throughout the scandal, saying Mr Russell enjoyed “the confidence of EREA as the leader of St Kevin’s College”.

St Kevin’s sister school, Sacre Coeur, has announced it is “placing a hold” on the planning of all upcoming partnership programs with St Kevin’s College, until the education regulator completes its investigation and deems the school to be compliant with its child safety obligations.

The Four Corners investigation also revealed that staff members at St Kevin’s have made complaints about two other male teachers.

“Two teachers who are currently under EREA investigation, are also not presently at the school until further notice, until those investigations are complete,” EREA executive director Wayne Tinsey said in a statement.

“EREA accepts the gravity of the matters raised in recent days. Business as usual is not an option for St Kevin’s in response to these issues, which need to be addressed as a matter of priority.

“It is clear that what has occurred has fallen short of what the community expects, and what we expect of ourselves.”

John Crowley, principal of St Patrick’s College in Ballarat, has been announced as the acting headmaster of St Kevin’s.

FULL STORY

St Kevin’s College headmaster resigns, dean of sport stood down following grooming scandal (ABC News)

RELATED COVERAGE

St Kevin’s headmaster Stephen Russell resigns, sports dean stood down (The Age)

St Kevin’s headmaster Stephen Russell resigns, sports dean stood down (The Australian)

New allegation of inappropriate sexual conduct by St Kevin’s teacher revealed in court action (ABC News)

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