The principal and her deputy at an exclusive Queensland high school have come under fire for employing their own children in multiple staff positions.
The principal and her deputy at an exclusive Queensland high school have come under fire for employing their own children in multiple staff positions.

School staffers under fire for ‘giving jobs to relatives’

Principals at an exclusive Queensland high school have come under fire for employing their own children in multiple staff positions.

A public servant has raised concerns regarding family members of Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology principal Kath Kayrooz and deputy principal Tanya Haggarty being employed over a number of years at the school.

One of Ms Kayrooz's children has reportedly been employed at the school for more than five years in multiple roles, including for six months from August 2018 as "personal assistant to (the) principal" - their mother.

Their LinkedIn page has them listed as currently being employed at the school as both a teacher aide and as an international and domestic tour organiser, arranging STEM tours for students.

Kath Kayrooz is the principal of Toowong's selective entry high school the Qld Academy of Science, Maths and Technology. Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australia
Kath Kayrooz is the principal of Toowong's selective entry high school the Qld Academy of Science, Maths and Technology. Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australia

They were also listed as being employed at the school as a laboratory assistant for two years, from 2016.

Another of Ms Kayrooz's children was listed as working at the school for more than two years from 2015 as a freelance videographer, then as a part-time marketing assistant from January 2018 until last month.

A new building at Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology in Toowong. Picture: Richard Walker
A new building at Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology in Toowong. Picture: Richard Walker

Meanwhile a child of Ms Haggarty's is listed as being employed at QASMT since May 2015.

They too were recorded as being previously employed as an "executive assistant to the principal", appearing to have taken up the role vacated by Ms Kayrooz's child at the beginning of 2020.

Prior to that, they were employed part-time as an administrative assistant at QASMT, with their current position listed as part-time teacher aide.

The Courier-Mail does not suggest that the children of the principals were undeserving of the positions.

The complainant said they were "concerned about the continued employment of family and friends", and listed other examples of children or relatives of staff being previously employed at the school, including facilities staff, grounds persons, and administration staff.

"This is particularly pertinent given the COVID-19 employment scarcity, uncertainty and need for opportunities for all members of the community to seek employment irrespective of familial connections," they said.

Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology next to Toowong Creek. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)
Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology next to Toowong Creek. (AAP Image/Richard Walker)

QASMT is a selective entry state high school of about 1200 students which was launched as part of former Premier Peter Beattie's Smart State policy, with students accepted following a multi-stage selection process, including an interview.

The Department of Education did not answer questions on whether there was or ever had been an investigation into the appointments, or whether the positions had been externally advertised.

A department spokeswoman said they could not comment on specific employee information for privacy reasons, but did say "in all recruitment and selection processes the department has an expectation for the highest standards of integrity and ethical behaviour to be met."

"Where there is an allegation that an employee has not acted appropriately, these allegations are investigated in line with departmental processes."

Originally published as Exclusive school's principal, deputy under fire for 'giving jobs to relatives'



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