Audit Report Released To Media Today

The Five Islands School

The Five Islands School

The long awaited Council-commissioned report into last year’s crisis at the Five Islands School is released to the media today.

Bryce Wilby was originally suspended in May on allegations of financial impropriety and weeks later, allegations that adult images were found on a laptop he used were shared in a governors’ meeting.

Bryce denies all allegations. He resigned later in the summer.

Although Radio Scilly, Scilly Today and BBC Cornwall are receiving report copies at the Town Hall at 10am we’ve been told that we cannot reveal the contents until Thursday. It’s to be fair to the press because the time lag in the printing process means it wouldn’t appear in The Cornishman until February 7th.

But Bryce Wilby doesn’t want the report released. He has read it and is formally complaining to Cornwall Council’s finance chief, their external auditors and potentially the Local Government Ombudsman.

He says he’s unhappy with the process followed by Cornwall auditors and the actions and conduct of some Scilly Council officers, councillors and school governors.

As a complaint has been lodged, his wife Maria says she doesn’t think that the report should be released as she believes that those who undertook the work could be investigated.

Former head teacher Bryce Wilby

Former head teacher Bryce Wilby

Maria is unhappy with its contents. She alleges that evidence Bryce submitted was not used and she’s sent Radio Scilly details of educationalists, island officials and residents whom she claims are unhappy after their evidence was also allegedly not taken into account.

Maria says Bryce told the auditors that the governors’ meeting minutes contained information that would support him. She alleges that the auditors claimed those minutes were missing, but says they are publicly available on the school website.

And Maria claims that the report states that her husband consistently lied. Maria alleges that, by defaming Bryce, the Council is attempting to justify its own actions. She also alleges that the Council has breached procedure in the last few weeks and these have all been reported to the Department for Education.

Maria alleges that the findings of the audit make it clear that Bryce was being harassed and that could help their case for compensation or further action “enormously.”

The Council’s director of finance Peter Lawrence-Roberts has said that no comment about the report will be made ahead of the date-embargoed release today.


6 Responses to Audit Report Released To Media Today

  1. Jim C January 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    What a bloody shambles!
    Looks like this story will run and run with possible Employment tribunals, unfair dismissal and plenty of work for the lawyers. There seems to be such a conflict about who actually runs the school.
    And is any candidate for the head’s job going to risk their own future by applying?
    No way, not with all this chaos going on.

  2. Todd Stevens January 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Hygates’ legacy.

  3. tim January 29, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Nice to see Radio Scilly giving Mrs Wilby a platform to pre-empt the report. You’d think that Radio Scilly is somewhat partial to the Wilby’s stance, but of course that can’t be so, as Radio Scilly is the ‘ voice of the islands’ – well some of us!

    • Kev Wright January 30, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Tim, if you’re implying that Radio Scilly are in some way partial to the Wilby’s case I think you’re off the mark. Firstly I’ve seen FAR more quotes on this site from council management/spokespeople and councilors and think it’s only fair that in a very public case such as this the Wilbys are allowed to have their say.

      The audit has been blocked for now. Surely this would legally not have been allowed to happen if there were no issues with it. The fact that it has been blocked shows that there IS a/some possible inaccuracy and maybe even bias in the way it was carried out. Remember who was in charge of the council at the time. A man Radio Scilly tried on numerous times to get a statement from but were turned down. Hygate had the opportunity to put his side of the story forward but refused. That’s hardy bias, that’s his own fault.

      The voice of the islands – well that “some of us” clearly includes you as your comment was just published.

      Radio Scilly can only publish statements from those willing to give them.

  4. Nobby Nobbs January 29, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I think that the council is trying to make Bryce out to be the bad guy, in the hope that it will distract everyone from realising that there may well be a big hole in the schools finances., ie:money that was meant for the school has been used elsewhere perhaps?

    If it is proven, that the auditors have in fact purposely omitted evidence given, then the whole CCC audit is called into question and one has to ask “what are they trying to hide from us?”

    If the audit is proved to be misleading in its conclusion, then the council should be asking for its money back from CCC

    Personally I more interested in the audit from the Dept of Education as this is likely to be much less partisan.

  5. karen January 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    What exactly will be published everyone knows it will be watered down!!