Council Tight Lipped On Former Head Teacher Ruling

town hall 11The Council won’t answer questions about the teaching regulator’s decision to throw out a case against the former Five Islands School head teacher.

Last week, the NCTL dropped the case before it reached a hearing, which could have seen Bryce Wilby struck off as a teacher.

Their panel said that the evidence from the Council’s auditors following Mr Wilby’s 2012 suspension was “wholly unreliable.”

We contacted the Council Press Office and Chairman Amanda Martin on Sunday to see if they wanted to issue a statement.

On Monday the Council said they had not received the NTCL decision.

On Wednesday we emailed again to ask whether the Chairman was aware that the Council had referred Mr Wilby and whether work in connection to that referral over the last two years had been undertaken with Council consent.

Mr Wilby has announced that he’s suing the Council and that they could have to pay his legal costs. So we also enquired whether the Town Hall had a contingency fund in place to cover this.

The Council replied to say that they couldn’t comment on the NCTL’s pursuance of Mr Wilby as the process was entirely conducted by that body.

On Wednesday again asked whether the Council had set aside cash to cover future litigation.

The Council replied saying that they have, “no further comment at this time.”

4 Responses to Council Tight Lipped On Former Head Teacher Ruling

  1. Adrian July 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    In response to Julie Q I would urge her to come to the meeting on Thursday which I have convened in my capacity as an individual resident just as I did the meeting on May 31st 2012.

    BUT ALL the information that I, and certain other Members ,have obtained in the last three years has come from the local media and/ or in communication with friends and colleagues. Rightly or wrongly The Senior Management Team has refused to share any
    information when asked and repeated requests for debate in Committee have been refused.
    If private individuals know nothing about the NCTL investigation it is because they have not become involved.
    I want to make it quite clear that I have received NO PRIVELLEGED INFORMATION from the Council and so will be able to speak in a private capacity on Thursday. However I recognise that as a Councillor I have a duty to listen to, and represent the views of the electorate and It is time that we ask few questions .though I do not expect the answers to be easily obtained.

    Adrian Davis

  2. Gordon Bilsborough July 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Councillors have been “advised” by the Chief Executive not to comment on this matter unless they make it clear it is in a personal capacity and not as a representative of the Local Authority. I have always believed that Councillors are representatives of the electors; not the Local Authority. In any case, as an elected representative, people have the right to know my views on anything concerning the Council.

    The alleged irregularities at the Five Islands School came to light over three years ago. Accusations and counter-accusations flew around without respite. I was approached by many people who asked me what was going on. I had to admit that I did not know because nobody from the Council had told me. In sheer frustration I complained about the lack of information and was told that an official statement would be forthcoming. We were warned (indeed, virtually ordered) by a senior Council Officer not to comment to the media.

    I agree that Councillors must not bring the Council into disrepute. Nonetheless, I sometimes feel that “legal reasons” are dredged up to prevent potentially embarrassing situations being debated in public. Unnecessary secrecy encourages public suspicions and malign rumours. The bottom line is that the Truth, Transparency and Democracy cannot be sacrificed on the altar of expediency simply to conceal mismanagement (or worse) by anyone.

    I agree with Fran that anyone who has contributed to this unforgivable treatment of the former head teacher by exceeding their terms of reference must be held to account.

  3. fran grottick July 11, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Please note that in deference to a request from the CEO, I pen this response as a private individual, and not as a Councillor.
    That said, I respond as I feel that electors have a right to know my views on this issue.
    Firstly, I agree that the Council can give no detailed response until they receive information from the NCTL.There may then be legal constraints as this is an employment issue.
    However, as a Councillor, I would expect to be informed if, as I expect, information now in the public domain is confirmed.
    If the investigation was halted as it is believed that evidence given was flawed then I would ask that the CIOS support a robust investigation into any wrongdoing. The Police should be involved if appropriate.
    If there are suggestions that evidence from a professional body is flawed, then that body should be referred to it’s competence authority.
    I shall attend the meeting at the Town Hall on Thursday at 7pm.
    Sincerely Fran 422424

    • Julie Q July 11, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      That makes no sense whatsoever. You say you are responding as a private individual, then make statements that ONLY a councillor would make. You refer to the electorate and give your views on what the council should do. You then say “as a councillor”. You talk about the NCTL investigation which private individuals know nothing about and then say that you will ask the council to support a robust investigation…..

      It appears to me that you have gone directly against what the CEO has requested (not necessarily a bad thing) and used a pointless caveat at the beginning of your statement to protect what you are doing.

      You can’t have it both ways.