School Problems Continue As Department For Education Gets Involved

The Five Islands School

The Department for Education is now publicly involved in the school problems.

It’s six weeks since the headteacher of the Five Islands School, was asked to stay away from work pending investigations. But the DfE has now confirmed that the deputy headteacher has been suspended too.

Their spokeswoman says that they are investigating a complaint about the suspensions and that the school’s governing body has made arrangements for the continued governance of the school.

The Governors have been operating without a chair and vice chair since Merryn Smith and Gail Sibley resigned from the governing body.

Last week, a group of four governors, whom we understand to be Peter Walker, Chris Simons, Carol Hicks and Nick Lishman, agreed to act as a joint-chair.

But legal advisors claim the shared responsibilities do not meet the 2003 School Governance Regulations.

Yesterday, Council Director, Penny Penn-Howard, told ScillyToday that the governing body can temporarily run without a chair, but they need to give the Local Education Authority a date by which that situation will be remedied.

But she confirmed that she had not been given a date yet.

We spoke to the special School Governors’ helpline, GovernorsLine, who said that if the governors fail to elect someone to that position, then the Council will be able to intervene.

And they say that if governance is deemed a barrier to effective leadership, the Department for Education may take it out of their hands and install an interim Executive Board.