Former Head Teacher To Detail Alleged Harassment

Former head teacher Bryce Wilby

Former head teacher Bryce Wilby

The former head teacher of the Five Islands School says he intends to give details in court of alleged “aggressive harassment” that his family received at the hands of the Council, the governors of the school and members of the public.

Bryce Wilby says this follows a small claims demand for £2,602 plus £80 costs from the school bursar, Caroline King on behalf of the chair of school governors Ben Julian.

Mr Wilby alleges the governors are seeking rent from him for a period last summer when he was not occupying his house, having already left the islands.

He says the upcoming court hearing will be a chance to place in the public domain information about alleged breaches of statutory guidance that resulted in harassment of his family and which he says would only have been expected to be released once the Department for Education report is completed.

Mr Wilby’s wife Maria says: “The events leading up to our leaving the islands was a traumatic experience and we have tried hard to rebuild our lives. It is a great shame that those in positions of power on the islands will not leave us alone.”

Chair of governors Ben Julian confirmed that small claim demand has been made but declined to comment further to Radio Scilly.

22 Responses to Former Head Teacher To Detail Alleged Harassment

  1. yet another islander February 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    You’re quite right Mark where and when will it end? This seems to go on and on!
    In order to bring some sort of closure the report must be published; we just cannot assume that Mr W is beyond reproach and all the other players are villains. As a community let’s wait and find out all the facts and make informed comments.
    As for paying rent it would depend on the tenancy agreement with his landlord and yet again how can sweeping statements be made either in Mr W’s defence or condemning the governors.
    Some one will have to pay and if Mr W was at fault why should money for childrens’ education be used to clear a debt.
    As for comparing the Mr W and Mr Hygate’s settlements it would seem that one resigned not having sought recompense and the other, although suspended, took early retirement and was offered generous terms……why didn’t the former take the same course of action. Maybe all will become clear if the island ever gets to view the celebrated report.

  2. Mark Prebble February 14, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Jenny, your support for the teachers and children is welcomed but the view that this decision is some sort of validation of the auditor’s report has to be questioned.

    Someone please correct me if i’m wrong, but it would appear that the Bursar and the Chair of The Governors have apparently acted without any discussion with the full governing body of the implications and possible consequences of taking Mr Wilby to court.

    Surely it’s this sort of autocratic and secretive approach that started this sorry story off. One has to wonder where will it end.

  3. Islander February 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Jenny there are some govenors/Councilors who did not know anything about this latest story, And they can’t find out what is going on. seems as tho chair of govenors wont discuss it with some of his own govenors…
    does that make it ok!!.
    Some people are full of p— importance.

    Please feel free Mr Julian to correct me if i am wrong!!

  4. Raggett February 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    As my old granny used to say Kev “If the cap fits, wear it”

  5. Jenny Green February 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Interesting turn of events. It seems the Governors of the Five Islands Schools believe the auditors report backs up the view that Mr Wilby was not the innocent victim in a the game of polictics and there were grounds to suspend him from duty. Hence the confident decision to ask him to pay his rent or get taken to court. What a sad state of affairs for the Governors and Mr Wilby and well done to the teachers and children of the schools for just getting on with what they do best….teaching and learning.

  6. local February 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

    just get it all out in the public domain.
    everything ! bryce’s evidence and the councils then we can all make our minds up once and fore all .

    our family are of the opinion that whether bryce was right or wrong , liked or disliked it remains that he was treated in a underhanded and utterly disgusting way by the councils senior officers who have also dragged in the governors and staff to help all this s*** stirring .

    come on council lets see the 38k report and see if its worth the money and comes up with a good reason why yet again a head teacher has been removed from our school ..?

    as to hygate being treated the same ? 80K and a pension and a wave goodbye ..COME ON ! get a grip

  7. Head in Hands February 12, 2013 at 12:48 am

    It’s not just Radio Scilly broadcasting this Tim. It is also on BBC Cornwall. I feel that Ben Julian has really misjudged this one.For the sake of a few thousand pounds why did the School not just write it off? It will cost more getting legal advice and defending the claim. And it almost looks like a vendetta now. It seems petty. If they just took the hit on what they believe they were owed there’d be no more adverse publicity. Now Wilby will be able to say whatever he likes in court. When oh when will the school governors learn how to stop courting negative publicity?

    • Kev Wright February 12, 2013 at 9:43 am

      “Now Wilby will be able to say whatever he likes in court.”

      Interesting comment Head In Hands, it’s almost as though you’re suggesting there’s some information that the school or council are trying to cover up that can now be brought out into the open?

  8. M Gove February 12, 2013 at 12:15 am

    One does have to question the motives of the head of governors on this one, after all they kept telling people that Mr Wilby had left the councils employ, so if he was not employed by the council and as not living in the accommodation, why should he have to pay rent on it?.

    This would appear to be harassment on the part of the governors and I take a very dim view of that sort of thing

  9. Simon February 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Not enough to loose your job; lose your home; move your family to have to start again; and have your good name besmirched for nothing more than local politics and/or 30 pieces of silver.


    Exactly the same can be said for Philip Hygate, Tod.

    • Nobby Nobbs February 12, 2013 at 12:26 am

      The difference is Hygate deserved it.

      • Kev Wright February 12, 2013 at 8:31 am

        Plus Hygate got a fat wad of cash when he left and a handsome pension from the council.

        Both were suspended, both subsequently resigned. How differently they have been treated though. One rule for Sir Hygate one rule for the peasant Wilby.

    • Todd Stevens February 12, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      That comparison is nothing more than laughable Simon.

  10. Kev Wright February 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    One word: Sickening.

  11. Todd Stevens February 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Not enough to loose your job; lose your home; move your family to have to start again; and have your good name besmirched for nothing more than local politics and/or 30 pieces of silver.


  12. Raggett February 11, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Oh dear, it really does look like the local “Big Nobs” of our islands really have got the knives out for Bryce, what a pity as this was once such a nice place to live, with such friendly people. How times have changed!

  13. Mark Prebble February 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    While one has to trust that this decision was taken in a transparent and accountable manner by the full Board of Governors, you can’t but help think that the school’s finances may be so precarious (what with all that irregularity going on), that they will try anything in order to find their share of the money to pay for the auditor’s report.

  14. Pat Hicks February 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    And yes there are alot of good/positive
    things happening on Scilly now. which the visitors will notice.
    WE are a happier community…. believe it or not..
    Just needing to get things off our chest.. which for some has been a long time coming,……
    but eh hoo happy days are ON THE WAY.!! soon be spring then summer. can’t wait. ….

  15. Pat Hicks February 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    This sort of thing will not be good for the school.
    i spoke to a couple of govenors and they did not know anything about this latest story. very sad….
    While i agree that it is nice to bring things out in the open more for disscusion, i feel that the school saga seems to keep going on and on, which is not good for teachers/parents ect. and advertising for future staff.. this latest incident seems very petty.
    as they say you’v had your pound of flesh,. nearly ruined the mans reputation/life…..and we have still not seen the prove.
    are you still not satisfied.. i am afraid thats what some are saying.
    but perhaps i am wrong. !!

    Just look at the price of the Audit,. now that is worth discussing.
    have we had our money’s worth.!!

  16. tim February 11, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Just because you don’t occupy a house doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay rent! This is just Radio Scilly giving the Wilby family yet more propaganda time. Give it a rest and report dispassionately. This is rent dispute – leave them to it.

    • Kev Wright February 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Tim, Radio Scilly has asked the goveners for comment and received none. As I said before they can only report what they get given. They’re attempting to be balanced, the Wilbys are willing to talk and despite Radio Scilly’s efforts to get the council to do the same they haven’t. Funny that…

  17. L. Ron February 11, 2013 at 9:01 am

    The Wilbys are good people. I love them and support them fully.