No code of conduct breach – Cameron

EDUCATION Committee member Andy Cameron is refusing to refer himself to the States members code of conduct panel, although he says the committee has asked him to.

Deputy Andy Cameron. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29714243)
Deputy Andy Cameron. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29714243)

Deputy Cameron is alleged to have leaked information showing the dismay of the Grammar School teachers over the proposed new three-school secondary education model.

He admits sending an email to selected deputy colleagues but has argued that the information was not confidential, and did not meet the criteria of committee correspondence.

As a result he would not self-refer to the panel.

The document at the heart of the row was the notes from a so-called

‘engagement session’ with Grammar teachers on 27 April.

The notes reveal that the staff felt ignored and they thought that Education, Sport & Culture’s proposed model would not work.

In particular they thought the model would exacerbate recruitment and retention, lower educational outcomes, degrade pastoral care, reduce curriculum choices, and waste tens of millions of pounds.

The notes conflicted with statements made by ESC that the model had the backing of the profession.

Deputy Cameron shared the notes with 14 other deputies, and after that the document was received by the Guernsey Press.

Teachers praised Deputy Cameron for inadvertently publicising their reactions, but that view was not shared by some of his colleagues.

In an open letter to States’ Assembly & Constitution Committee president Deputy Carl Meerveld, Deputy Cameron argued his case.

‘I do not deny that I circulated via email to a group of trusted States members a document that came into my possession as a member of the [Education] Committee,’ he said.

‘However, I do not agree with any assertion that the document in question meets the criteria of “committee correspondence” nor that it was confidential to the committee.

‘I have been invited by the committee to self-refer to the code of conduct panel in respect of this matter but in light of the above, I have decided not to do so.’

The letter also lays out that Deputy Cameron had raised serious reservations about the model as soon as he started to hear the staff feedback.

Initially he was on board with the idea of three 11-16 schools and a separate sixth form college, but that changed after he attended the Grammar teachers' engagement session.

Immediately after that he said he raised concerns with the rest of the committee.

In the weeks that followed Deputy Cameron said he heard more disapproval from the profession and he spoke further with his Education colleagues.

‘It was clear, following facilitated engagement sessions in other schools, that concerns over the model were not confined to the Grammar School staff alone.’

On 14 May, Deputy Cameron emailed the committee asking for information about other education models to be included in the policy letter. He did not receive a reply.

When he shared a statement to the committee members outlining his position he did not receive any feedback.

Given all this, Deputy Cameron wrote that he found it ‘difficult to accept’ that his president, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, was quoted saying that it was a ‘genuine surprise’ to find out Deputy Cameron’s position ‘only very recently’.

He also criticised the way that Sacc had handled matters.

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