Council Want Say In Head Teacher Appointment

Mike Hicks, Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly

The Council will want a say in the appointment of the next Five Islands School head teacher.

Council Chairman Mike Hicks told Radio Scilly news last night that the governors are responsible for driving the process and their board and the Diocese will make the final decision.

But Mike says, “because of the past problems, the local authority will have some involvement in checking out the credentials of any potential head.”

Mike doesn’t feel much will happen before the autumn term, though.

Yesterday, the Diocese confirmed that they will offer support to governors through the process leading to the appointment of any new head and their spokesman says, “they are very experienced in this respect.”

Mike says Council officers have requested a meeting with the Diocese and he wants to be present to, “pour some oil on the troubled waters.”

He says the Council have not heard from the Department for Education following MP Andrew George’s suggestion that they should mediate.

The Diocese say that, as the Custodian Trustee of the school, they must be consulted and kept informed of developments.


13 Responses to Council Want Say In Head Teacher Appointment

  1. IanT. July 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Whatever the reason for staff restructuring, and the most likely is cutbacks in funding, I understand that no changes can be made without the approval of the governors. Any teacher, especially on Scilly where you can’t just up and go to another school close by, is sure to be upset if they are losing their job or it’s being drastically changed so will be sure to lay the blame at the foot of the headteacher. Bryce was a teacher with an excellent track record – he must have or he would surely not been appointed – and has improved the school’s status considerably. His slightly ‘hippie’ approach and lifestyle was a breath of fresh air in Scilly and this seems to have been seized upon by some of his detractors. He must be feeling extremely hurt and betrayed – no wonder he resigned. What choice did he have..??

  2. Linda July 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I would like to know the real reason for Bryce Wilby’s restructuring of staff. If the Council had informed him that the school budget was definitely reducing in the coming years, what alternative did he have? Historically, the Council have withheld funding in the past and if this is the current situation, then Bryce was in an impossible position.

  3. Diane Cidade July 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I made it clear that I was speaking hypothetically, and meant no insult or disrespect to professionals and by no means do I want to vilify them, either real or imagined. However, whether someone is capable of acting professionally or not is irrelevant. For example, when a Councillor declares an interest at the beginning of a debate, which they then don’t participate in, it doesn’t mean they lack integrity, but it keeps debates and decision making impartial and eliminates idle speculation from those on the outside. I was merely pointing out that there might be a conflict of interest when it came to matters of staff restructuring, as an example, because it could potentially be a big issue should another Head Teacher of the school go down the route of becoming an Academy, for instance. Could that be a question in an interview? Again, speculation. I appreciate that you want to offer the views and opinions of teachers and others at the school, but please be aware of the insults and disrespect that you yourself might be directing towards the Governors, the former Head Teacher and Diocese.

  4. Diane Cidade July 13, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Sorry if this puts a spanner in the works, but surely a part of a Head Teacher’s job is to manage his teaching and support staff? Hypothetically speaking, if a Head were to come in and realise that staffing changes needed to be made for the better of the school and the students, said staff would soon become anxious that theirs might be the job at risk and might try to put a stop to it. Staff in this manner, if you agree with this logic, have a major personal interest to protect and declare when making decisions, because they may in fact want their boat to not be rocked, and thereby choose a Head who might be a weaker leader. This poor leadership could and, most likely, would be a detriment to the school in other ways.

    Staff may come and go, but it’s the students we (are meant to) care about.

    • TomD July 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      There is no “spanner in the works” as it’s idle speculation which does a great disservice to professionalism and dedication of the staff. From my perspective Mr Wilby’s staff restructure has been a disaster, just as he was told it would be by nearly all his staff. Relatively few staff were finacially disadvantaged, whereas the vote of no confidence was a huge majority of staff. So to speculate like this, impugning the integrity of staff, is rather unhelpful and disrespectful. I spoke to one member of staff who said that the botched restructure was but one element in the displeasure with Mr Wilby’s management.

  5. Louise July 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    The Local Authority is always involved in the appointment of the headteacher. This was the case with the last appointment and with previous appointments. Representatives form the Council were on the interview panel that appointed Mr Wilby (including the Chief Executive, I believe) with governors and a representative from the Diocese.

  6. Simon July 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    My understanding Todd is that the school effectivly gets on and is self governed with the council only stepping in when things arent right or when asked to do so therefore the problems of the past are theirs and I presume that Stuart is being sarcastic as if it is true that the pupils, diocese and governors were overwhelmingly in favour of Bryce, then maybe the council can help avoid that mistake in the future as they overwhelmingly got it wrong!

  7. Todd Stevens July 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Mike Hicks refers to- “the problems of the past” -at the school. He needs to take a long hard look at where those problems really lie. But he’ll need to be able to see through wool first.

  8. Stuart July 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    The last group of candidates were interviewed by the schools pupils and they overwhelmingly chose Bryce Wilby, as did the governors and I presume the diocese, so why the council feels the need to stick its oar in again is anybody’s guess

    • TomD July 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Perhaps because the panel of pupils, the Governors and the Diocese chose Bryce Wilby?

  9. Todd Stevens July 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    If we go through enough of them- were bound to find a good one sooner or later. Do wake up Mike.

  10. TomD July 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Interesting that the new Head’s “credentials” will be checked by the Council. Does that imply that the last Head’s weren’t and were then found wanting? Let’s hope that the staff will also be properly consulted. Last time the then Chair of Governors was glowing in support of the unanimous selection of the winning candidate, even though he had little impact with the staff. It’s always prudent to respect the thoughts of the professionals involved as they know more than any lay people and have to work with the successful candidate.

  11. Simon July 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I think it’s an excellent idea after what happened last time. At least give them an input, even if the council aren’t the ones to make the decision.