Wednesday 21 August 2019
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Fallaize: I have no intention of resigning

Fallaize: I have no intention of resigning

Monday 29 July 2019

Fallaize: I have no intention of resigning


Under-fire Education President Matt Fallaize has "no intention" of resigning over an email scandal that emerged over the weekend.

It was revealed on Saturday that Deputy Fallaize had threatened to resign after civil servant colleagues who sat on an interview panel did not vote for his preferred candidate for the role of Head of Curriculum & Standards.

After a strongly-worded email to the committee's then Chief Secretary, Colette Falla, and contact with States Chief Executive Paul Whitfield and P&R President Gavin St Pier, the appointment was suspended that night.

Days later, the successful candidate - a local headteacher - withdrew from the recruitment process having originally accepted the position on the same day it was offered to them. 

Speaking at the weekend, Deputy Fallaize said he "did not pressurise any candidate to withdraw from the process" and that he "could not overrule an interview panel even if [he] wanted to do so".

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Deputy Fallaize has been presenting his committee's plans for educational reform to parents and teachers in recent weeks. 

Deputy Fallaize said he will not be resigning - and that he was aiming to lead his committee's education proposals through the States as planned. 

"I intend to remain as the President of the Committee for as long as the States’ Assembly wishes me to," he said. "I am as committed as ever to leading the reforms to education which my committee was elected to lead last year. We are looking forward to the States debate on our policy letter in September."

Deputy Fallaize was told by the Bailiff in a recent States meeting that he did not have to answer written questions from Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen about the recruitment for this role for legal reasons. 

"The Committee remains mindful of the legal advice it has received, but will continue to consider whether and when there may be an appropriate time to issue a statement," added Deputy Fallaize. 

Deputy St Pier, who is said to have played a role in suspending the appointment, declined to comment over the weekend. However, he is expected to comment this week. 

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Scrutiny President Chris Green said his committee "needs to take stock and considers its options" for responding to the situation. 

The Scrutiny Management Committee called a snap public hearing in December 2017 over a social media campaign that was set up by former Education Vice-President Carl Meerveld without any States branding.

Deputy Green said it was too early to say whether they would be calling one to further investigate this situation.

"My Committee has not had the opportunity to consider  collectively the most recent revelations made over the weekend," he said. "We will need time to assess the situation fully.

"We had written to the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture about this recruitment process last month following the initial questions from a Deputy. That did not elicit much by way of further information. 

"There are obviously substantial legal/confidentiality issues around this issue which is a factor that needs to be looked at carefully when determining our ability for action or review in the public domain; but equally there is now further material in the public domain that needs to be reviewed by the committee.

"We had already taken provisional steps to hold a potential public hearing in August of this year with representatives of the committee on the secondary education transformation programme if certain extra financial information is shared with us in advance and if we feel that it will achieve something over and above what a letter of comment will achieve."

Pictured top: Deputy Matt Fallaize. 

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