Councillors Receive School Auditors’ Report

The Five Islands School

The Cornwall Council auditors’ report into alleged financial impropriety at Scilly’s Five Islands school is complete and has been sent to a handful of councillors.

The Council brought in a mainland investigation team following the suspension of Bryce Wilby as head teacher in May. Mr Wilby subsequently resigned.

Chairman Mike Hicks, vice chair Amanda Martin and children’s lead, David Pearson have copies and each member has signed a confidentiality agreement drafted by Council solicitors.

David said he hopes that the “highly confidential” report is not leaked but added, “we can only protect our side of the water.”

Mike Hicks and the other members will meet with director of Community Services, Penny Penn Howard, today and Mike says a decision will be made on whether the report is shared with other councillors.

David Pearson says there is the possibility that someone featured may not consider some of the contents to be in their favour. That’s why legal advice must be taken before publication. He hopes, ‘a version’ can be published.

Mike doesn’t feel people featured in the report will have an automatic right to a copy. He says they will have been interviewed and will know what they had said to the auditors and he says that he is not, “ducking the issue.”

Mike Hicks says it has always been his desire to, “make some kind of public statement” but it’s unlikely much detail will be released this side of Christmas.

Mike says he will insist that a brief and broad press statement is issued today.


10 Responses to Councillors Receive School Auditors’ Report

  1. Todd Stevens December 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Correct me if Im wrong but I thought that Bryce had said that if the council should act on the new info. Here, David Pearson, says: “there is the possibility that someone featured may NOT consider some of the contents to be in their favour.” Somones in deep do do. Name and shame!

  2. ISLANDER December 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Exactly !! people can read whatever they want into the so called report/ not.. which us the tax payer, some councilors/governors cannot see. what about the diocese of Truro!. .. it just gets worse and worse.
    its all a joke.
    will we ever know who is to blame for all of this? Does some already know.?
    the guilty ones should hang their head in shame..

  3. Confused December 4, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Agnes, the same could also be said if the contents are in Bryce’s favour. Bryce would almost certainly be able to claim constructive dismissal against the Council.

    If the report is not made public and the Councillors and Governors not allowed to see it and take action based on it’s findings what was the point of spending the communities money on the report in the first place?

  4. Jenny Green December 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    It could be they are protecting Mr Wilby. Who is to say he is not the person who is viewed less favorably than they would like.

  5. Agnes Nitt December 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    What if the contents are not in Bryce’s favour. This could lead to difficullty in getting employment in the future and he could mount a claim for constructive dismissal. Maybe they are protecting Bryce and by extension, the council and the community.

  6. Ted December 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The report will find its way into the open, it always does.
    It may result in costly legal action against the council, and the tax payer will foot the bill, but if that’s what you really want…

    It IS ironic that after all the hoo ha over govners feeling undermined that the report has been passed over their heads. Anyway, hopefully we can all move on in the coming weeks.

  7. sarah December 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    David Pearson says that someone may not consider some of the contents to be in their favour ,I feel its sad that the same consideration wasnt given to opinion is that if everything has been done in a fair and legal way and the council have nothing to hide this report needs to be published

  8. Pat Hayden December 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Once again, the Governors, who are responsible for managing the school, seem to be excluded. This has been the pattern for many years and is simply not good enough.

  9. Robin December 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I would have thought the Mr Hicks would have refused to have any say in the report’s handling as he has an obvious conflict of interest.

    • Diane Cidade December 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Mike Hicks’ supposed conflict of interest might be ‘obvious’ to you, but for clarity’s sake, could you enlighten the rest of us on what you’re referring to, exactly?