Chairman of the DHS governing board Paul Spooner has provided clarity over the issues that led to the school cutting ties with Glenwood last week.
Glenwood confirmed last week in a letter from the principal, Dr Andri Barnes, that a resolution between the two schools could not be reached and that DHS had decided to sever all sporting and cultural ties with their fellow Durban school. In their own statement released last week, DHS said that their trust with Glenwood had deteriorated following a buildup of incidents which could not be condoned.
DHS has now provided further clarity over what led to the breakdown in relations between the two schools.
‘We do not believe it is in the best interests of anybody for rival schools to approach or tempt parents and learners with offers which breach long-held agreements between the schools and which are in place to prevent learners being treated as commodities,’ Spooner said in a statement.
‘We wish to make it clear that the sporting results have nothing whatsoever to do with this decision. We will always value the lessons learned on the sports fields, no matter if DHS representatives are winning or losing.
‘On some blog posts, there has been some speculation about what led to this decision. While there are some elements of truth in some of the speculation, there is also a lot of inaccurate conjecture which we would like to correct with a summary of what happened from our viewpoint.
‘There are, broadly speaking, two issues or incidents involving two separate groups of boys. While both issues involve Grade 8 pupils who were enrolled and who we expected to be learners at DHS in 2020, and all six in total are currently at Glenwood, the circumstances of the two incidents are vastly different, hence our reticence to group them together.
‘In the first instance, boys of talent were identified from a severely disadvantaged background. They would otherwise have had no means of attending a school that could grow their talent and therefore they were offered scholarships to attend Glenwood Prep in 2018 and 2019 to attend DHS from 2020. The personal circumstances of the boys were such that the DHS Foundation agreed to fund their tuition and accommodation costs.
‘This was done in an effort to give the boys an opportunity they would not otherwise have had and as a means of easing their transition to DHS. Contracts were put in place with the respective parents and the Foundation.
‘In 2019 we were aware that Glenwood High School had made approaches to the boys, but after meetings between the two schools, DHS was satisfied that Glenwood had agreed that they would stop any attempts to lure the pupils away from DHS.
‘Only when the boys did not attend orientation was DHS notified that they had opted to attend Glenwood for their Grade 8 year.
‘The second case is more concerning to DHS because the three pupils involved had already enrolled and attended DHS prior to their sudden group decision to move into the Glenwood boarding establishment.
‘This is in direct conflict with what is termed the Headmasters Agreement that no learners would be “poached” from any other school once that learner has commenced at the school. In addition, the Agreement states that if there are sufficient reasons to change schools, the learners cannot be given any form of bursary or scholarship.
‘As far as we understand, at least the pupils’ accommodation costs have been subsidised.
‘With regard to the movement of boys from Glenwood to DHS, we have made records available to Glenwood which prove conclusively that no incentive has been offered to any boy who has moved to DHS, and no approaches whatsoever were made by DHS or their representatives. In every case where a learner requests a move to DHS, the proper channels are strictly followed
‘There has been comment regarding staff being “lured” to DHS from Glenwood and once again we wish to place it on record that any movement was done strictly within the applicable guidelines agreed between the schools. In some cases, staff members made the transition via other schools or with a break in service after leaving Glenwood.’
Photo: Gallo Images