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Staying put

Broomes dismisses BUT; says he won't be leaving service in any hurry

Embattled principal Jeff Broomes will not be sidetracked by the latest developments in the education system.

While he is saying very little regarding the charges being levelled against him by some members of his staff and the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), he said one thing was for sure – he would not be going anywhere in any hurry.

Parkinson School teachers are not happy with Broomes’ management style, saying that he has refused to take suggestions of staff on board, has introduced programmes without consultation with them and unilaterally changed the timetable.

However, Broomes told Barbados TODAY he intended to remain as professional as he possibly could.

Parkinson principal Jeff Broomes.

Embattled principal Jeff Broomes

“I don’t know how else to be. You cannot be all things to all people and I wouldn’t even try. I am a professional. I am not getting caught up in the issues; let people fight their battle. I don’t even know what they are. As a matter of fact, I have not heard one accusation levelled against me from the union . . . All I am hearing is about leadership style or management style or stupid things like that, but when people start getting specific then you will hear me speaking but not until then,” he asserted.

The BUT met today with its members to discuss how they would press the Ministry of Education and other relevant officials to move to address their concerns about Broomes and the principal of Alma Parris Memorial School, among other issues.

But the Parkinson principal insisted that the meeting had “nothing” to do with him.

“I don’t even want to know what they talked about. I don’t worry about any meeting. I am an educator and I am doing my job,” he said.

“I am not getting too involved at this stage. I will speak at the appropriate time. I am not ready for that yet. The Ministry of Education has all the documentation they need.”

And the 61-year-old said he had no immediate plans of retiring from the education service.

“I can tell you that I will not be retiring during this school year; definitely not. My family and I will determine when I retire. I am at the age where I can, but I have made no decision on that yet,” he said.

While he is not on the union’s good side, some parents who spoke to Barbados TODAY insisted that they were backing Broomes.

One parent, Celeste Grazette, said she did not have any issues with the principal.

“I don’t have any complaints from my son or nothing like that. Everything is fine with me . . . I have been to the PTA meetings and he speaks very well to me. I have no problem at all. He likes to see his students succeed in whatever they are doing,” she insisted.

Another parent who would only give his name as Greg said he believed Broomes was “the man for the job” at Parkinson given that he had changed the “bad name” of the school since taking over the head post.

He said he believed any changes the principal was making at the institution would be beneficial in the long-term and the teachers should give them a chance to work.

“The problem is that these teachers are in their comfort zone. Change is not always about negativity. They have to try something and see if it works,” he said.

A St John woman who also has a daughter attending the institution added: “I think what he is doing is nice because the school is not downgraded like before. You used to hear a lot of bad things about this school and you don’t hear that anymore. What he is doing is good. It might be strict, but it is good. The children don’t behave as bad as one time. He is the right man for this school.”


3 Responses to Staying put

  1. Conchita Moseley
    Conchita Moseley January 7, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Oh dear!!!!! They have started yet again, but stand firm, Broomes in the LIONS den but will not be conquered.

  2. Carl Harper January 7, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Stand firm, Uncle Jeff. Give ’em hell!

    Management or leadership style is no reason for the BUT be demanding that Broomes be removed from Parkinson or be disciplined. I too am still waiting to hear what violation or breach Broomes committed in his role as principal.

    The autocratic and participative styles both have their relevant applications depending on the situation. The former style is best suited for quick decision-making when time is limited and results required in short order, such as a school year. 

    The participative style is used to give followers a stake in making decisions. This can be time-consuming and is best used when time is not a factor.  It does not necessarily mean that the best decisions are made, only that persons “feel good” about being part of the process.

    One the other hand, when strong personalities, unions, Ministry, politics and threats are involved, the leader will have to focus more on results and the consumer–the students.

    Broomes will decide when he deems fit to adopt the autocratic or participative style based on his knowledge of the staff with whom he works.

  3. Olutoye Walrond January 7, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    These are not issues that can be resolved by the opinions of parents and the public. They are not the ones involved.

    The parties to this problem are the Teachers and Mr. Broome.
    It is therefore pointless stressing what great work Mr. Broome has done or is doing and how nice he is.

    The fact is the Teachers who work with him have a different perspective. Discussion, hopefully, facilitated by the Ministry of Education should help to resolve the problem.

    I say ‘hopefully’ because this ministry seems to be in a hundred years slumber.


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