School Staff Given Summary Of Consultant’s Report

The Five Islands School

Staff at the Five Island School have spoken about their “fear and nervousness” over changes being implemented by the former head teacher.

This was highlighted in a summary of the report written by educational consultant, John Sullivan.

Mr Sullivan was brought in by governors to investigate the no-confidence petition signed by school staff and he undertook over 70 confidential interviews with staff and governors during June.

Mr Sullivan has concluded that there was confusion amongst staff about the direction the school was taking, particularly over talk of a possible change to academy status. There was also a loss of trust by some staff in the leadership of the head teacher, Bryce Wilby.

However, Mr Sullivan’s report raises questions about the number of staff that signed the original petition. He said 47 staff put their names to the document, some 59% of total school staff.

But leaked governors minutes from their meeting on May 18th, where governors took the decision to suspend Mr Wilby, record that the Director of Education, Ms Penny Penn-Howard, told them that 49 staff members, or 69%, had signed, and these had been verified by a Justice of the Peace.

Mr Wilby was eventually suspended pending and investigation into alleged financial impropriety.

The report goes on to detail staff feelings about Mr Wilby’s leadership, including his reliance on using email, rather than face-to-face meetings, and his perceived lack of a development plan for the school.

Importantly, the report says Bryce had, “not taken staff with him during the restructuring process and instead has created an atmosphere of anxiety, fear and nervousness.” This referred to the cost saving and re-grading process in which some staff faced a potential loss in salary.

Some staff also felt that they had received little feedback about the quality of their teaching, and they complained of feeling, “disheartened and undervalued.”

They also felt that, despite raising this with governors, the situation had been allowed to continue and this had led to deterioration in the relationship with parents.


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