Council Brings In Consultant To Deal With School Morale

The Five Islands School

A school governor has described a statement issued by the Council regarding morale at the Five Islands School as “inappropriate and inaccurate.”

A news release, issued by the Town Hall, said a headteacher consultant is being brought in to the school to interview all staff and governors, “to gain a broader understanding of the issues troubling staff members at the school.”

The visit has been arranged through North Somerset Council who work in partnership with Scilly’s Local Education Authority.

The Town Hall say this has been done in discussion with the governing body, but governors that we spoke to over the weekend are upset at the statement and they say that it’s not true.

Governors claim they decided to bring in a consultant to talk to staff before the headteacher’s suspension and are unhappy that the Council has not consulted them before going public on this.

The Council states that they take a vote of no confidence in the headteacher, which was signed by 49 staff, very seriously. They say that it was submitted through the Town Hall’s whistleblowing procedure.

The governors have not been allowed to view the petition, which was handed over to the Council.

ScillyToday has heard from parents who are concerned about the atmosphere in school following the suspension of the school headteacher, Bryce Wilby.

Mums and dads have shared a range of worries including allegations that a class was left unsupervised and that there have been exam timetabling conflicts. One parent felt that the school was “falling apart” and was worried it could end up back under ‘special measures’ if the situation continues.

Senior school governors are refusing to answer questions about disarray and poor morale at the Five Islands School in the wake of the suspension of Head Teacher.

We have contacted both the Chair of the Board of Governors, Richard Vaughan, as well as Vice Chair, Gail Sibley. Richard has not returned our calls or messages and Gail said she didn’t want to talk but she did issue a statement.

It says: “The issues raised have been addressed by the Acting Head Teacher and parents are fully aware of the procedures to follow regarding issues surrounding the education of their children.”

Director of Adult, Children's Community Services, Penny Penn Howard

The Council’s Director of Adult, Children’s Community Services claims that staff will know that their concerns are being addressed and that the consultant head will work towards improving morale.

Penny Penn Howard went on to say that the consultant’s report will be presented to the governing body and Local Authority in two to three weeks.

Meanwhile, over three weeks since his suspension, the headteacher and the governors have not been informed what Bryce Wilby is alleged to have done.

Governors we spoke to allege they were told to suspend the head by Council officers who didn’t provide a reason at the May 19th meeting. The Council last week issued a statement claiming the action was due to alleged financial irregularities.

Cornwall auditors had been in the school.

But now some governors are questioning the strength of evidence as it’s been so long and with an increased emphasis now being placed by the Authority on the staff petition.


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