Farley defends principal

A retired principal, who is known for telling it like it is, wants the problem between parents and principal of the St Matthew’s Primary School resolved before the children are made to suffer the effects of the bitter end of the stick.

Matthew Farley told Barbados TODAY he did not believe the call by some parents for principal Barbara Anne Brome-Bailey to be removed from the Hothersal Turning, St Michael institution would be answered by the Ministry of Education unless she had seriously breached the rules of her contract, which are covered by the Education Act.

Principal of the St Matthew’s Primary Barbara Anne Brome-Bailey.
Principal of the St Matthew’s Primary Barbara Anne Brome-Bailey.

However, he warned that a prolonged fight between the two parties would only cause students to suffer.

“In the final analysis, the victims here would be the children. Every hour that the children lose in terms of instruction it is the children who are being penalized and not the principal.

“It is the children, not the teachers, the teachers will still get paid at the end of the day. Any disruption within a school environment, the children are the ones that will suffer most,” Farley insisted.

Wednesday, as Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave made an official visit to St Matthew’s, parents stood outside the entrance, venting their frustration over the principal’s style of communication.

Giving thumbs down to the parents’ action, the former principal of the Graydon Sealy Secondary School said they should have called on the National Council of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA) for support.

“Small rural primary schools should not have that kind of disquiet and disturbance. I haven’t heard anything from the teachers.

“Are the teachers identifying the same concerns as the parents? I don’t know. In the final analysis, the principal cannot do anything without the teachers on her side, working with her,” he noted.

Farley said according to his knowledge, the only way a principal could be removed was if a serious dereliction of duty had occurred.

“I don’t know what the truth is so therefore I can’t speak categorically, but if the principal is not looking after the duty of care that is a part of their responsibility, not putting systems in place for the curriculum to be delivered, not maintaining order and a disciplined environment.

“Those kind of things that are a part of a principal’s job description. If she is in breach of those matters, then I can see parents bringing pressure on the Ministry, but outside of that, I don’t know what else parents can do,” he said.

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