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.”


11 Responses to Department For Education Begins School Investigation

  1. Todd Stevens November 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Sorry rose, your quite right, I shouldnt generalise. I tried to cover this by putting- “may well be” but I should have been clearer.

  2. Rose November 7, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I was one of the 180 that went to the first heart meeting. And was also one of many that didnt return for the second. Please dont talk for us all Todd.

  3. Liz Martland November 6, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Todd will you be our next CEO – realistic, honest, direct & clearly loves Scilly?

  4. Frank Gray November 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Don’t see any worried persons here Todd, unlike you and your mates who see conspiracy behind every tree and are apparently frightened of losing their jobs, their houses, or just being taken behind the bike sheds and beaten up it would seem. The truth would be good from all sides, starting with the publishing of the Audit report forthwith so we all can see what the Auditors found out in their Audit.

    • Todd Stevens November 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Me and my mates?? You must be referring to the 180 people who turned up at that first HEART meeting to talk of their concerns over the style of governence here. If by my turning up to that meeting, to show how I oppose the way our Cheif executive goes about his business, makes these people – “my mates” -then yes, I suppose they may well be. Your belittling of our combined concerns is rather bemusing though? But then, perhaps, everything in your particular garden is rosey Mr Gray?

  5. Todd Stevens November 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Seems to me to be a few worried people on here. I wonder why?

  6. Fran Grottick November 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Let’s get this straight. Interviews on the Islands may take 2 days,
    but will surely form part of an investigation which takes much
    Interviews form only part of an investigation.

  7. Knacker of the Yard November 6, 2012 at 11:30 am

    So, we have a full investigation taking all of 2 days!
    The man has come with an agenda me thinks. Any bets on the Church of England being handed control?

    This stinks.

    • Sue M November 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

      You’re absolutely right Knacker. This does stink.

      I think that’s why they’re here in the first place…

    • Samual Vimes cmdr November 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Please get your facts straight before commenting on a public forum Mr knacker.
      Although the DFE auditors are conducting two days of interviews at the school to gain information from school staff, that is not the total length of the investigation, they have also conducted interviews with relevant party’s both on the islands and the mainland outside of that two day time frame.

      All information then has to be collated, substantiated and presented, all of which will take considerably longer than two days.

      I belive that when the DFE deliver their audit it will be an honest account

  8. Frank Gray November 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

    It’s about time the Audit Report was made public, The previous Head has had his opportunity to respond and did so publicly on the radio. Why can’t we now see the full report to see the truth? Is someone trying to hide something? To protect themselves or someone else? Or to delay things so we are kept in the dark while other machinations take place?