Isles of Scilly Council told how to suspend head teacher

Bryce Wilby
Image caption Bryce Wilby was suspended in May and an audit investigation was launched

The Isles of Scilly Council was to be given information on how to suspend the head teacher of Five Islands School if governors did not, the BBC understands.

Bryce Wilby was suspended after financial irregularity allegations.

A document from Cornwall Council sent to the council's chief executive said it could prepare two letters of suspension - one from governors and one from the council, Mr Wilby's employer.

The Isles of Scilly Council (ISC) said it was merely seeking legal advice.

'Taking over school'

Mr Wilby, 46, was suspended in May after the allegations were raised by whistleblowers.

An independent investigation was launched by an audit team from Cornwall Council.

He has denied any wrongdoing. His contract expired at the end of August.

A document dated 17 May seen by BBC Cornwall said that if governors had voted to keep Mr Wilby, the Isles of Scilly council, as employer, could suspend him anyway.

The document, written the day before the governors' meeting that suspended Mr Wilby, came from Cornwall Council legal services officers and was sent to ISC chief executive Philip Hygate, his assistant, and 10 other people.

It talked about preparing two letters of suspension - one from the governing body, and one from the ISC.

It also said: "We discussed the governing body giving up their delegations and the council effectively taking over the running of the school.

"We can prepare the necessary documentation for next week if the governing body indicate tomorrow that they would be amenable to that course of action, or it is something you would wish to pursue irrespective of the governing body's views on the matter."

The council has said it only had an advisory role in his departure.

When asked to comment, Mr Hygate referred the BBC to Children's Services director Penny Penn Howard.

She said officials had been alerted to problems at the school on 14 May.

She added that when it came to the suspension, council staff and officials were not present at that part of a governors' meeting.

The situation is scheduled to be debated at a full island council meeting next week.

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