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Gove 'informed about fallout following head teacher's suspension'

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: June 28, 2012

Merryn Smith: quit as governor.

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THE SUSPENSION of the head teacher and deputy head of the Five Islands School is being investigated by the Department for Education.

Resignations from the school's governing body has also seen two chairmen quit followed, reportedly, by a vice-chairman.

A DfE Spokesperson said: "We are aware of the suspensions of the head teacher and the deputy head teacher and the resignation of some governors at the Five Islands School. We are investigating a complaint about the suspensions.

"In the meantime, the governing body have made arrangements for the continued governance of the school."

A quartet of, as yet unnamed, governors of the school has stepped in to act corporately as joint chairmen.

A spokesman for the governors said: "The investigative process is on its way, according to governor law and proper practice, and we must let it happen."

The withdrawals have taken place in the aftermath of the controversial suspension of head teacher Bryce Wilby for alleged discrepancies which are being probed by internal audit.

"Gardening leave" has also been given to the deputy head teacher and a bursar.

The head's suspension had been activated by the governing body after an emergency meeting, although it says that it is unaware of the circumstances of the audit allegation.

Mr Wilby protests that he does not know his alleged offence.

The first of the governors to resign was chairman Richard Vaughan, who is leaving Scilly. His successor, Merryn Smith, quit after just a week.

The governors' spokesman would not confirm reports that vice-chairman Gail Sibley had since resigned.

Mr Smith stood down as a councillor on the islands' authority earlier this summer to expressly devote more time to work like school governing.

The development is the latest in a troubled island educational saga.

It has seen the involvement of a council-summoned consultant to quiz school staff into the "no confidence" vote in Mr Wilby and the formation of a political pressure group.

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