Former Head Teacher Alleges Council Is ‘Pursuing’ Him

Former head teacher Bryce Wilby

Former head teacher Bryce Wilby

The former head teacher of the Five Islands School has alleged that the Council is trying to get him barred from teaching.

Bryce Wilby claims the Council of the Isles of Scilly is continuing to pursue him and will not allow him to move on with his new life. It’s almost a year since he was suspended and subsequently resigned from his position at the school, following allegations of financial impropriety.

An audit report compiled by Cornwall Council was due to be made public in February but withheld at the eleventh hour after My Wilby successfully blocked its release.

He has secured a full-time position at a school in London, but alleges that the Council has referred his case to the National College of Teaching and Leadership and recommend that they hold a public hearing into his suitability to remain as a teacher.

He claims that many of the councillors do not know that this action has been launched.

Bryce says he’s not sure why he has been referred, as he says none of the evidence put forward meets the required criteria, but believes the Council is taking the view that, “the best form of defence is offence.”

He says he has lodged 27 complaints with the Department for Education, Information Commissioner’s Office and the Local Government Ombudsman, against the Council and named individuals.

He’s waiting for these to conclude but says he’ll then be able to use their reports in legal proceedings if necessary. He says he’s taking his complaints to the ‘highest level’ and is being helped by his new MP, Tessa Jowell.

In the meantime, Bryce says he and wife Maria are leading a ‘double life’, both holding down full time jobs and then working evenings and weekends to compile their paperwork.

Bryce says it’s useful to have new councillors and a new Chief Executive in Scilly who can effectively deal with his complaints.

And he says as soon as the new councillors are sworn in, then these actions are effectively being taken in their name. They need to stand up and question what is happening, he says.

Last week, Maria Wilby wrote to newly elected members to bring them up to speed on what has happened since the couple left the islands last September.

Councillors we spoke to said they couldn’t comment on the matter as it’s subject to legal process.

However, one new member raised the prospect of the “horrendous” budget implications of the legal costs, which could dwarf the Council’s overspend. And he thought it was an issue that Full Council should discuss at the earliest opportunity.

We asked the Council last Thursday to confirm if Mr Wilby’s case had been referred to the National College of Teaching and Leadership and who authorised it. We also asked if the Local Government Ombudsman was investigating the Council for breaches of confidentiality.

Yesterday, Director of Finance and Human Resources, Peter Lawrence-Roberts, said the Council “is not available for comment at this time.”

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