Posted December 08, 2015 ten:23:00

External Hyperlink: Ravenswood Captain Sarah Haynes addresses school on Speech Day 2015

A Year 12 Ravenswood student has spoken out against her school captain for accusing these running the exclusive Upper North Shore girls school of putting its image ahead of the welfare of the students.

Head girl Sarah Haynes created national headlines yesterday soon after a recording of her controversial end-of-year speech at the Sydney college went viral.

“It appears to me that today’s schools are being run far more and much more like organizations, exactly where every little thing becomes financially motivated,” she told teachers and students in a speech which earned a standing ovation from fellow pupils.

“Maybe this is a naive view, but either way I’d adore to see Ravenswood work towards anything much better, where every single member of the college feels valued equally, as they should be.”

The chairman of the Ravenswood school council, Mark Webb, has linked Ms Haynes’ criticism of the college to an alleged bullying incident involving her sister.

Ravenswood Year 12 student Hannah Richardson said she was upset by her captain’s speech.

Audio: Listen to David Taylor’s report (AM)

“When she speaks on behalf of the student body, I’m not actually confident if she’s speaking on behalf of absolutely everyone,” she said.

“So I believe that is a bit upsetting, due to the fact that undoubtedly doesn’t agree with me, and I know a lot folks, a lot of my pals, I never consider they would agree with almost everything that was stated.”

Ms Richardson did not attend the school’s Speech Day because she was engaged in volunteer function in Japan, but she has noticed the recording of the speech posted to YouTube.

“Ravenswood is a very, extremely caring atmosphere, and I’ve often from my encounter felt that student welfare has often come very first and it really is often been about performing your ideal, rather than attempting to sell a brand,” she mentioned.

College says girls have ‘a right to feel valued’

College council chairman Mr Webb said the hyperlink to the alleged bullying incident, which he stated was ahead of the courts, meant the college could not make any additional comment.

“As this relates to a matter prior to the courts, it is not feasible for us to comment on the specifics other than to say this relates to a disagreement about disciplinary action taken against a quantity of students following an incident of alleged bullying,” he said in a carefully worded statement sent to the college community.

“We have deliberately restricted any comment to the media as we do not want to compromise the girls, their families or the legal technique.

“Ravenswood has an overriding obligation to provide a secure and respectful finding out atmosphere for every single student – and all our girls have the appropriate to really feel valued.”

Ms Haynes has declined to comment.

The ABC understands Ravenswood teachers have been told not to speak to the media.

Subjects: secondary-schools, education, schools, gordon-2072, sydney-2000, nsw, australia

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