Bishop Says He Supports School Investigation

The Five Islands School

The Bishop of Truro says he is pleased that the Department for Education is trying to discover what is at the root of the problems at the Five Islands School.

Bishop Tim Thornton contacted the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, after he became concerned about the number of allegations being made at the church school. He has no plans to meet with the investigation team, but says his Diocese Education Director Sue Green will come over from the mainland this week.

Bishop Thornton says parents should be assured that the Diocese and governors are committed to the future of the young people of Scilly.

There has been talk about the potential for academy status, and governors were weighing up the pros and cons before the last head teacher, Bryce Wilby, resigned. Tim says the governors will decide whether or not to become an academy and he has no preference. He says there is the option for the school to be a church-sponsored academy and, if that was the choice of the community, the diocese would be supportive.

From Radio Scilly

Hear Bishop Tim Thornton talking to Keri Jones

A detailed legal letter making accusations against the Council was sent to the authority, and was supported by some governors, in the summer. The Diocese was also copied into the paperwork.

Bishop Tim accepts that there have been some challenges in the relationship with the local authority recently, but he feels that he has maintained a good working relationship with the Town Hall.

He says the Diocese has also tried to offer support for the governors but with hindsight they could have done more, differently, and in different ways. He’s committed to maintain the level of assistance his team provides to the staff and governors in the future.


3 Responses to Bishop Says He Supports School Investigation

  1. Diane Cidade November 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm


    The Governing Body is meant to be in charge of running the school, in which the Diocese has an interest. If there are problems with the Governing Body (and the Council, as you say), then it’s not much of a stretch at all to say that there are ‘problems’ at the school.

    Also, the Chief Executive of the Council, Mr Philip Hygate, has only recently gone on record saying that there was ‘tension’ and an ‘atmosphere’ at the school in reference to a meeting he had with a member of staff back in July; am I to believe you over him?

  2. Robin November 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I wish the Diiocese would stop claiming that there are “problems at the Five Islands School”. It is a matter between the Governors and the Council. The school is doing really well!

    • Nobby Nobbs November 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      It’s a C of E school,
      So the Bishop has every right to point out that
      A. There are issues and
      B. They need addressing

      And no the school is not doing really well, there are issues that need addressing