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Education: 'we never said we wanted to control inquiry terms of reference'

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SCRUTINY has misunderstood Education, Sport and Culture's request to address it ahead of any inquiry into the recent recruitment row, according to ESC's president.

Education president Matt Fallaize says his letter to Scrutiny was misunderstood.

Deputy Matt Fallaize has also suggested that the Scrutiny Management Committee might want to check that senior civil servants who worked on behalf of eduction would be as open as the political board members in disclosing information to such an inquiry.

Scrutiny is looking into setting up an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Clare Sealy as the head of curriculum and standards.

Deputy Fallaize has written to Scrutiny president Deputy Chris Green after the latter said that under no circumstances could ESC be involved in the setting of the terms of reference for the inquiry and it would be a matter for Scrutiny alone to determine.

'Respectfully your letter implies a misunderstanding of my committee’s request,' said Deputy Fallaize.

'Of course my committee accepts that if your committee establishes or commissions a review or inquiry then it is for your committee alone to determine the terms of reference.

'This has never been in doubt and my committee has never, and would never, assume or suggest anything else, but please accept my apologies if my committee's previous letter did imply that it was seeking some role in determining the terms of reference.'

He said that ESC had not sought to help determine the terms, but wanted to make representations before Scrutiny set them 'to explain why the terms of reference should be drawn very broadly in order to encompass all relevant circumstances relating to the appointment into which you or your reviewer may be inquiring'.

Deputy Fallaize went on to reiterate that the members of the committee would provide all relevant information to any review or inquiry.

But he said that this did not apply to past or present staff members of the committee: 'Please understand that the committee and the office of the committee are not one and the same.

'I can provide you with an assurance, and I do, that members of the committee will provide all relevant information, but if you require the same assurance of senior officers in the service of the committee now or previously then for absolute clarity you may wish to seek such an assurance from them.'

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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