Council Wants More Off-Islands Governors

The Five Islands School

The debate over whether off-islanders need special representation on official bodies has restarted after the Council suggested that School governors should consider the geographic composition of their board.

In a report to the Children and Young People’s committee, Council Performance and lnclusion Manager, Keith Grosset, stated that the school should be encouraged in a strategy of seeking off-island representation as Governors come to the end of their period of service.

However, headteacher of the Five Islands School, Bryce Wilby, has questioned how the governors can ring-fence spaces for off-islanders.

There are 17 governors in total; 8 are elected directly from parents or staff and the remaining 8 are appointed by the Diocese or Council.

The School Head is also on the board, as well as a governor-appointed community representative.

Currently that post his held by St Agnes resident Carol Hicks and Bryce says this is the only way the governing body can ensure at least one off-island representative.

Bryce says he isn’t convinced that reserved, off-islander spaces would be best for the school. He says residents of any island could stand but they should represent the whole school and not specific islands or bases.

He says, “We do not have representatives for Normandy House or Ennor Close, for instance.”

And he added, “I personally do not think it makes any difference where you live if you are a governor. 20% of the pupils are from off-islands so you could argue for 3 or 4 governors, but only the Diocese or Council could manipulate the figures to match that.”

Bryce says, this, raises the question of what would happen if the only parents that stood for election were from the off islands? Would we say no to ensure better representation for St Mary’s? Of course not … we are one school.”