GP comment: Education must answer the real questions

EDUCATION refutes a lot of allegations in today’s 2,000-word statement.

Education's group of four who persuaded the States to pursue a one-school, two-colleges transformation of secondary education. Left to right: Richard Graham, Rhian Tooley, Matt Fallaize and Mark Dorey. (25394814)
Education's group of four who persuaded the States to pursue a one-school, two-colleges transformation of secondary education. Left to right: Richard Graham, Rhian Tooley, Matt Fallaize and Mark Dorey. (25394814)

The only problem is, they are not the accusations levelled against the committee.

Time after time, Education answers the question it wants to be asked, not the one posed.

The committee is not being accused of threatening to resign if it did not get its way. Matt Fallaize’s email makes it clear he told his chief secretary not picking his preferred candidate ‘would most likely make the committee’s position untenable and lead to my certain resignation’.

Not the same thing at all. So of course it is false.

And so it goes on. It is not claimed that the committee alone decided to recruit Clare Sealy, nor that the ousted candidate would be paid off. Nor is it claimed that the committee itself applied for the population licence or personally leant on the successful candidate.

However, what is being claimed – and which has angered many islanders – is confirmed.

This was a sham interview. Of the eight candidates who replied to a local and national advert only one had a chance. The others were wasting their time.

There was only one right outcome. As Education says, ‘on any sensible analysis’ it was Clare Sealy.

Yes, it was a nominally civil service process and their appointment. But Education admits that deputies and senior officers had agreed in advance every effort should be made to recruit Ms Sealy.

The panel was packed with ESC nominees. All but one worked directly for the committee. And they had the president there to check their homework.

But then it went wrong. The vote went 4-1 in favour of the local candidate.

One can understand Deputy Fallaize’s frustration. A job had been created but the scheme to appoint a specific candidate had been derailed.

But he should have let it lie, accepted defeat and moved on.

He could not. His email shows that. Perhaps because, by its own words, the committee is ‘relentlessly focused’ and ‘will not be distracted’.

What happened next must be the focus of an independent review.

What was said to the candidate to get them to withdraw? Why was the appointment put on hold? In what ways was indirect pressure applied to reverse the result?

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