School agrees to comply with rules

NSW Fair Trading has requested that an independent school in Sutherland Shire take action to ensure it is compliant with its obligations.

A spokesman for the department confirmed that the school was investigated about claims over its compliance framework.

The department stated it had "raised a number of issues" with the Sutherland Shire Montessori Society Incorporated Association, a non-profit organisation that runs Sutherland Shire Montessori School, Gymea.

The school recently changed its name to Sydney Montessori School.

A department spokesman said it received representations that indicated possible breaches including disclosure of interests and pecuniary gain.

"The committee was required to take a number of actions to ensure that the association was compliant with its legislative obligations," he said.

"Fair Trading is satisfied that the committee is currently taking appropriate actions to address the issues raised and is awaiting confirmation from the committee that all matters raised have been addressed.

"Fair Trading will continue to monitor the association's compliance with its legislative obligations."

The Association of Independent Schools in NSW, which is the peak body representing the independent schooling sector, declined to comment on the matter.

The Sutherland Shire Montessori Society board members did not return the Leader's calls.

In its 2011 online annual report the school acknowledged that there were "some deficiencies in the processes of the past," which were addressed.

Principal Hani Ghali said the school did not comment on operational procedures.

But he said the school adopted Fair Trading's recommendations and was implementing them to ensure continued compliance.

"Fair Trading made recommendations to our school in relation to some outmoded operational procedures as per the current Associations Incorporations Act 2009," he said.

The board also stated it was committed to introducing a more formal induction of new members.

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