Department For Education Begins School Investigation

The Five Islands School

Department for Education officials will this morning start two days of interviews at Scilly’s Five Islands School.

A spokesperson from the DfE says they’re here to investigate “a number of complaints” and whether there have been any breaches of education law.

We understand this relates to the procedures followed by the local authority and school governing body following the suspension and subsequent resignation of former head teacher Bryce Wilby.

The DfE say: “The main focus of the visit will be on interviewing people who have been involved in the various events covered by the complaints to the Secretary of State for Education. This will allow for facts to be checked and to ensure that a complete record of all available material is held by the investigating team.”

The investigators do not have any powers to compel anyone to attend a meeting, although the DfE say everyone involved has volunteered to make themselves available.

Chair of Governors, Ben Julian, says the investigation is being headed by Tom Peryer, OBE and he’ll be joined by fellow DfE advisor, Andrew Hudson.

Mr Peryer’s role in the DfE is to provide support for schools going through the process of becoming academies and he has previously helped five schools in London to achieve that status.

Ben says he’s been given a list of points that they are seeking to address and he’s confident that the governors have followed the correct procedures. A former chair of governors, Pat Hayden, has also been called for interview, which she believes relates to the attempted dismissal of a previous head teacher.

The DfE say they anticipate that the findings of the review will be made public “in due course.”

 



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