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Education could face the "full powers of the Royal Court"

Education could face the

Friday 23 August 2019

Education could face the "full powers of the Royal Court"

An investigation into Education's conduct during a recruitment process will have the full powers of the Royal Court behind it at a cost of up to a quarter of a million pounds, if the States agrees.

The Scrutiny Management Committee will go to the States with a request for a "completely independent and transparent" investigation into the Education Committee's role in the appointment of a Head of Curriculum and Standards.

There have been calls for Education President Matt Fallaize's resignation over alleged interference that saw the originally successful candidate, a local headteacher,  withdraw their acceptance of the job and be replaced by an off-island candidate who only Deputy Fallaize had voted for from the five-person interview panel. 

Scrutiny has been considering how to best establish whether there was any wrongdoing on Education's part.

Matt Fallaize ESC

Pictured: Deputy Matt Fallaize. 

Scrutiny President Chris Green said his committee had chosen to pursue a Tribunal of Inquiry, which the States will be asked to approve at the "earliest possible opportunity", which would be 4 September. 

"If we want to know exactly what has happened then this is the best way to do it," said Deputy Green. 

"A Tribunal of Inquiry has the full powers of the Royal Court to force witnesses to attend and give evidence and to provide documents, which are powers that we [Scrutiny] do not have at the moment."

The inquiry would be transparent, he said, because it would sit in public and an unredacted report would be published upon its conclusion, which would hopefully be by the end of the year.

Carl Meerveld

Pictured: Deputy Carl Meerveld. 

Former Education Vice-President Carl Meerveld wants the States to delay any debate on the future of education until after a review of Education's role in the recruitment process has been undertaken. 

Deputy Green has concerns about the capital costs proposed for the school reforms and the lack of evidence provided for the savings that Education say they will lead to. 

However, those will be expressed separately and he sees no reason himself why that debate cannot go ahead before the Tribunal of Inquiry is undertaken. 

"I personally don't think we should conflate the two issues," he said. " We must not pre-judge the inquiry, unless there's no point in having it."

Pictured top: Deputy Chris Green. 

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