Principals Vote “No Confidence” On Dr. Heatley

April 3, 2014

Dr Edmond Heatley Commissioner of Education  Bermuda, October 20, 2013-6[Updated with Education Ministry's response]

The Principals of the Bermuda Public School System who are represented by the BPSU have declared a “vote of no confidence” in Bermuda’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Edmond Heatley.

The Principals said they believe that school system “deserves to have a Commissioner who is committed, resilient, and who operates with transparency, honesty, and respect towards educators, parents, students, and the wider community.

“These essential qualities have not been demonstrated by the current Commissioner in their observations,” added the statement.

Dr. Heatley, an American, took up the post in Bermuda in September 2013 and last month it was revealed that he applied for a job as the Orleans Parish schools superintendent in the United States. He is reported to have attended the job interview in Louisiana earlier last month.

Further controversy arose when it appeared that on his application for the job he claimed to have “increased public education approval rates from 23% to 93%” while employed at Bermuda’s Ministry of Education.

In addition, there appeared to be some possible discrepancy with how many jobs he may have applied for, with Dr. Heatley saying he applied for one job, while the application suggested he may have applied for two.

Shadow Education Minister Walton Brown has called upon Dr. Heatley to resign, while Independent MP Terry Lister said that Dr. Heatley should be told to “get cracking”.

The most recent comment on the matter from the Ministry of Education was two days ago, and said: “The Permanent Secretary has met with the Commissioner of Education. The Board of Education will also meet with Commissioner today.

“The matter is under active consideration. It is prudent to carefully assess the next steps for the benefit of the education system as a whole.”

We have asked the Ministry for a response to this latest development and will update as able.

The full statement from the BPSU is below:

Given the recent events highlighted in the local and overseas media in relation to Dr. Edmond Heatley, Commissioner of Education, the Principals of the Bermuda Public School System, who are represented by the Bermuda Public Services Union, have declared a vote of no confidence in Dr. Heatley.

The Principals believe that the Bermuda Public School System deserves to have a Commissioner who is committed, resilient, and who operates with transparency, honesty, and respect towards educators, parents, students, and the wider community. These essential qualities have not been demonstrated by the current Commissioner in their observations.

In light of this, the Principals are calling for the Permanent Secretary of Education to accept the vote of no confidence in the leadership of Dr. Heatley and to ensure a Commissioner for the system who possesses these essential leadership qualities and attributes.

The Principals are seeking to arrange a meeting with the Permanent Secretary responsible for education to discuss a way forward for the betterment of the Bermuda Public School System.

Update 5.24pm: Shadow Education Minister Walton Brown said, “I fully concur with the position taken by the principals. This has really been an unfortunate turn of events and we now have a Commissioner of Education who lacks a critical factor that would enable him to do the job for which he was hired: the confidence of those who serve under him.

“I fully expect that Dr Heatley’s tenure as Commissioner will come to an end soon and we should all now direct our focus to who will replace him and the framework best suited to ensuring we have competent, committed and visionary leadership in public education.”

Update 6.46pm: The Education Ministry has responded, saying they acknowledge the position of the Principals and will “factor their clear concerns into the on-going review of the Commissioner’s position.”

The full statement from the Ministry is below:

Late this afternoon the Ministry of Education and Economic Development received a letter from the Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] detailing the position of the Principals of the Public School System, who are represented by the BPSU, declaring a vote of no confidence in the Commissioner of Education.

The BPSU letter was released to the media prior to any consultation with the Ministry.

The Ministry acknowledges the position of the Principals and will factor their clear concerns into the on-going review of the Commissioner’s position by both the Permanent Secretary and the Board of Education.

As has already been stated; on Monday morning, the Permanent Secretary met with the Commissioner upon his return from New Orleans to discuss the issues surrounding the Commissioner’s application to the Orleans Parish School Board.

Subsequently the Commissioner met with a sub-committee of the Board of Education and the full Board has met to consider their position.

The BPSU will know there is a Civil Service Code of Conduct, as well as Public Service Commission Regulations. The Permanent Secretary and the Board of Education are undertaking this review with full understanding of due process.

It is important to note that while the Minister of Education and Economic Development has been fully briefed, under Public Service Commission Regulations, Cabinet Ministers do not play a role in the hiring, transfer or removal of public sector staff.

The matter is under active consideration and is being addressed at the highest level with full attention. The Ministry believes the most important factor is the long term future of our education system and welfare of Bermuda’s students.

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  1. Dr. Edmond Heatley Resigns As Commissioner | Bernews.com | April 11, 2014
  1. Yup says:

    Knew that guy was a mess from the start!

    • Steve Biko says:

      Cant see de P.L.P. takin de blame for this one.

      • BETTTY TRUMP says:

        Much respect to the School Principals, keep standing strong.

        I am glad that the School Principals are standing up, and the Union has finally awaken. This should also be the case with the teachers Union and other CS individuals working within the Ministry. All need to come together with one voice, and stop waiting for others to act on their behalf.

        Thanks School Principals, at least you had the back bone to stand firm for our Children’s Education.Our children’s education is very important. Much respect to the School Principals, keep standing strong. It does speak to the fact that School Principals take this matter of educating our children serious.

        This situation calls for the Minister to act, and to do it swiftly as possible.

        • BlueFamiliar says:

          I would agree with everything you’ve said, save your last paragraph.

          Presently things are going through the correct channels and that should be allowed to play out.

      • Terry says:

        Very true.
        And that is what has me worried.
        Politics.

      • Robert says:

        They will try though !!

      • bozey says:

        Neither party is really at fault…this guy has the snake’s tongue!! If you google him, you will see he has a questionable past. He has no regard for children’s education…all about “The Team of Me…” (meaning himself)….

    • From the start??? says:

      The Board of Education, Permanent Secretary, Public Service Commission, Immigration Department and the Governor, concluded that we didn’t have a Bermudian alternative. So who should have been hired?

  2. HeyBye says:

    This guy is now a lame duck.
    Principals will not respect or take directives from this guy,especially now voting no confidence.
    Although,it is going to cost us tax payers to send him packing breaking his contract,we will be better for it.
    If they are going to hire a replacement,it better be someone who is versed on the British educational system.

    • Fact is says:

      In the real world, you don’t take directions from your boss you get fired.

      Of course we’re talking about public service and Bermuda so it’s not the real world.

      But, unless or until he leaves, he’s still the boss. And my first statement should apply.

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        You’re forgetting that he has a boss as well.

        • And ... says:

          Until his boss says he’s gone, his “staff” aka the guys that report to him, pay attention. Otherwise they’re toast.

          But this is Bermuda so …

        • bozey says:

          Thank you LaVerne…. What’s he gonna do…fire everybody??

  3. Shay says:

    Prolly gonna reapply for that job now. He needs it

    • Fact is says:

      If you were following the press in the local papers where he was applying, they were looking for further applicants – that’s a polite way of saying that none of the candidates (including Dr Heatley) were up to par.

  4. jeremy says:

    I guess I’m still a little confused as to why we need a Commissioner anyway. any takers on that question?

    • I'm sure says:

      I’m sure that we can find an expat who’s dumb enough to take on that role. Bermudians are too smart.

    • Or a PS or a minister. Need teachers.

    • Rhonda Neil says:

      every organization IMV needs a head……just saying….

    • Lauren Bell says:

      Well, we don’t have a full time Minister or PS at the helm…..

      The CoE is now taking on the responsibilities that were previously carried out by the PS.

      Have a look @ the job description of the CoE to see the full remit – the post is needed.

      • Lauren Bell says:

        COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION
        PS 46 $171,893 (US$ equivalent)

        Department of Education

        Ref:   6049/17/1685/RA/OS

         

        The Ministry of Education seeks an outstanding, experienced and well-respected educational leader to serve as our next Commissioner of Education.  We are looking for an individual with exceptional talents, high emotional intelligence and a well-established track record of system-wide improvement and achievement to lead the transformation of Bermuda’s public education system. 

        Working under the direction of the Permanent Secretary, the future Commissioner of Education must have a 21st century vision, philosophy and approach to comprehensive and inclusive education.   He or she will be responsible for all aspects of the operations of the Department of Education, including the supervision of 3 directors and overall responsibility for public schools, early learning, curriculum and assessment, special education, professional development, and business operations.

        The successful candidate must:

        inspire a common vision of leadership and achievement in schools and within the central office;
        have a visible, participatory management style and be able to be inclusive in decision-making;
        develop and build the capacity of staff and the education system to significantly improve achievement and outcomes for all of our students; 
        establish and maintain co-operative working relationships within the Department of Education and schools, and with parents, key stakeholders and the wider community;
        be an excellent communicator with impeccable written, expressive and receptive language skills;
        be open-minded, reflective and committed to lifelong learning;
        demonstrate in-depth knowledge of pedagogy inclusive of core curricula, differentiation, effective instruction, accountability systems, assessments and implementation strategies;
        promote and oversee the development of exemplary learning environments; and
        effectively manage a budget surpassing $100 million within current fiscal realities.
        The successful candidate must possess a minimum of fifteen (15) years of relevant experience, including ten (10) years of experience at a senior executive management level or have equivalent experience. The successful candidate must have a Master’s degree in Educational Administration or equivalent, together with a professional qualification in an education discipline.  All applicants must be eligible to be registered with the Bermuda Educators Council.

         

        • Cleancut says:

          Lets see, his lawyer will be Saul Froomkin, and Dr. Heatly will leave the island with a $MILLION PLUS in his pocket.

  5. somuchless says:

    He better go and reapply for that job.

  6. GiGi says:

    The principals are finally being held accountable. The middle schools have been audited and the rest are trying to avoid what’s coming down the pipe line! Dr. Heatley must stay the families of Bermuda deserve an educational system that works for them. Its not about the principals!!!

    • Lauren Bell says:

      And the audits should be completed and decisions based on the results should be made and enforced

      ALL of which can be carried out by a CoE who has the confidence of the principles, teachers, parents and community

      Let’s NOT act as if Dr Heatley is the only person that can do this

    • BETTTY TRUMP says:

      The Principals have always been held accountable, long before Dr. Heatley. The problem is with the constant change of direction the Ministry continues to make, which often leaves the schools, children and Principals in chaos. Each year something is changed. Education needs to set a PLAN and stick to it. The constant changing of things does no good, often folks that speak often know very little.

      Heatley only brought heat on himself. Folks are not afraid of Accountability they want consistency and a REAL PLAN to move Education forward. One that works and is goal orientated towards our children s future success. Heatley accomplished nothing, except Chaos and traveling as much as he could. There are others capable of doing the job, but we as Bermudians must be willing to work with he or she.

      • Fed Up Bermudian says:

        I don’t know that they have! I think the ones that hold themselves accountable are the ones who are successful, and the ones that hold parents accountable are also successful. We parents have to get it that we aren’t supposed to do the teachers’ jobs, but if we don’t do ours how can they do theirs???

  7. Anyone Surprised? says:

    This is disappointing – but It is just another example of short sighted decision making to me.

  8. what in the world says:

    The decision taken by the Principals are deplorable as they should not be interfering in political matters. How many jobs do you know where you can have a vote of no confidence in your boss? None! Btw aren’t they civil servants?!!

    Their dissatisfaction with Dr Heatley shows that he is starting to make changes.

    Hopefully Dr Gibbons ignores these principals and encourages Dr Heatley to continue with his reforms.

    • Lauren Bell says:

      Political matters??? You’re kidding, right? How is the education of our children deemed “political matters”?

      • what in the world says:

        Educating kids is one of the many services that the government provides. These principals are civil servants in which they answer in some form or fashion to the Commissioner of Education. (Meaning he’s their boss)

        Walton Brown MP and Terry Lister MP had made a big fuss about this Dr Heatley applying for jobs as if he broke the law.

        When principals get involve with MPs’ debate it becomes a political matter. Meaning they have stepped outside of the civil service code of conduct.

        • BETTTY TRUMP says:

          Political or NOT, this matter concerning our children is important, and ALL of Bermuda should be concern. Educators, teachers, children, parents and all citizens. After all many Educators have children attending school within the system, so their concerns are just as important as a regular citizen.

          Education is Political in Bermuda, has always been a hot topic to push at. But the government has failed our children in this matter. ALL Unions and ALL of Bermuda needs to stand up and speak to this critical important issue.

          Heatley has lost the integrity and respect of Bermuda, who in the world can work with him, without grinning their teeth to provide an once of respect. It must be difficult for the Educators in this case, at the Department of Education as well as the teachers. I think Principals were correct in stating their position. He expects much of them, yet fails to show them respect.

          Really this matter should be over by now…. The Minister of Education and OBAubp need to stop hiding out behind a Rock and step forward and take some Responsibility for this HUGE MESS of a problem. Regardless the buck stops with the government, after-all it is whom the people will hold responsible for this chaos and fiasco.

          • what in the world says:

            So you admit that it is a political issue? If so the principals are out of line. Should they be disciplined?

            But you say Dr Heatley has lost respect? Has their been a poll taken? I have a feeling your making an assumption.

            All this fuss sounds like a storm in a teacup.

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            The LAST group we want “standing up” are the unions. They’re the ones keeping the incompetents employed. Unions, Betty, do not want accountability.

        • Lauren Bell says:

          This NOT an “MP debate”; this is a NATIONAL issue.

          The principles taking a united stance on this has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with educating n effective management.

    • Mazumbocann says:

      How can you say this is a political matter? If I recall correctly he embellished multiple statements on his application. It is now a trust matter.

  9. Sandy Bottom says:

    Looks like the Principals don’t want a boss who will hold them accountable. What a surprise.

    • Sounds like ... says:

      The rest of the education establishment, from teachers all the way thru administrators to department staff and employees reaching up to the minister.

    • BETTTY TRUMP says:

      Stop with the Nonsense @ sANDY bOTTOM, the Principals have always been held accountable. Many welcome it, the problem is the leadership of Heatley has many Questions behind it, and you need to come out of denial. The reality is this man has NO integrity and has lost the respect of ALL EDUCATORS. HE NEEDS TO GO, and that is just the reality of the situation. HE DOES NOT HAVE OUR CHILDREN’S INTEREST AT HEART.

    • Capri says:

      @ Sandy Bottom- respectfully in my opinion it does not seem as if it is about avoiding accoutability. Consistency is important. Ask about the audits and how results were gathered. Ask about the suggestions. Ask if there is consistency! Yes help is needed and wanted but it does not mean blame, blame. The principals rarely speak out. Listen. They are not making excuses.

  10. Terry says:

    Lauren.
    The Bell has tolled.
    Let it go before more damage is done.

  11. lol says:

    If the principals were capable we wouldn’t need Heatley or equivalent. The education system would be successful.

    But apparently the education system is not successful, so the principals’ opinion really adds up to nothing on this matter.

    • Leon says:

      In my opinion, the system is not a total failure. My children are in reputable universities. They obtained scholarships to local private schools but we declined. More support and less defensiveness from home is needed. As well as a strong leadership. The Ministry of Education has people who want a strong system but are often not able to do what they believe is best.

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        Well woop de doop for you. The results in Bermuda’s education system are appalling. It needs a total makeover. The Principals, along with everyone else, have to get used to the idea that things have to change.

      • The key word here is says:

        Leon, the key word in your post is “total” – regardless of how bad the system is there will always be some success stories.

        But all you have to do is look at the statistics to see that the public education system isn’t exactly doing well.

  12. Coffee says:

    Will the OBA acknowledge its failure ?

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Did the PLP acknoweldge its failure?

      • Coffee says:

        The OBA has set a blistering pace of back to back failures ! Lol..

        • Mike Hind says:

          Not really.
          I know you’re desperate for that to be true, but it simply isn’t.

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          The minute someone is put in to shake up the failing education system, everyone starts bleating. The system needs a shake up and change. It needs more accountability. It doesn’t need people disagreeing with every decision just because the OBA made it.

        • JustAskin2 says:

          Good grief, the OBA appear to be worse than the PLP.

  13. Family Man says:

    I’m guessing the 93% approval rating didn’t come from a survey of school principals.

    Maybe he just surveyed his immediate family.

  14. Citizen Banned says:

    Why would he ever quit? We are totally playing into his hand.

    In the coming weeks he will be fired and we will have to pay off his contract. He will leave with a smile on his face and never gorget how dumb and gullible Bermudians are. We do it to ourselves time and time again.

  15. nuffin but the truth says:

    Time to go…the plane’s waiting,ya NOT wanted here..
    in plain Bermudian lingo…GET CRACKING!

  16. MOEDteacher says:

    I am a public school teacher and Dr. Heatley has mine, and several of my colleagues- VOTE OF CONFIDENCE! It should be known that there are also several principals who also feel Dr. Heatley is the man for the job. He has a clear vision for our system and has repeatedly said we need to be a united school system, not a system of schools. He has worked tirelessly learning the dynamics of our very small but complex system and is ready to transform our schools. What we have is people who are resistant to change, scared of the truth, and in my honest opinion not willing to teach using best practice. He is the man for the job and I, and MANY parents, teachers, and principals pray that he remains to complete the work that he came here to do.

    • Skeptical says:

      I hope that you do not teach English Language in your role as a MOEDteacher. Your grammar usage is sadly lacking, smh.

    • nuffin but the truth says:

      That answers some of why are Children are so badly educated…
      Quit your job and go back to school,then re apply,your writing and typing is terrible,my cat could do better!

      • nuffin but the truth says:

        OUR,not are…my typing was too fast…

        (not scared to admit my mistakes!).

    • JUSTICE says:

      MOEDteacher,

      Your having said all of that, please explain why Dr. Heatley would apply for a position overseas if he was so committed to working in Bermuda’s mis-education system?

      • sick n tired says:

        He probably looked at the amount if ignorance and red tape he has a leader has to go through to affect change with and in underperforming principals and teachers and schools!!!

  17. Full moon in Paradise says:

    Integrity? Transparency?. As far as I am concerned, these qualities have been lacking for several years without a public outcry from MOE stakeholders.

    What’s so different now?

  18. Triangle Drifter says:

    Sitting on the fence here & there seems to be a smell coming from both sides.

    Heatley’s integrity is in question, & rightly so. However he may have been making moves to break up the cosey little club that is the MOE. You just know the seat warmers don’t want their world upset & will do anything they can to disrupt anyone who tries to make them do anything different from what they have done for decades.

    As usual the losers will be the students.

    Heatley will get a golden handshake. The DOE will rest easy content that another attack on their comphy lifestyle has been beaten back.

    • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

      This is an unfortunate situation.

      Clearly Heatley must go. But unless the dead wood at Southside and in our classrooms is removed, his replacement ( Bermudian or Non Bermudian) is bound to fail.

    • swing voter says:

      Heatley is fighting a loosing battle. the whole culture at DoE cannot be addressed with Band-Aids….the entire hierarchy needs to be dismantled, dispersed, and rebuilt.

  19. nuffin but the truth says:

    If the guy is fired,he may not get his ‘golden handshake’
    none of us knows what his contract states.

  20. Starting Point says:

    Anyone who thinks principles are being held accountable is a fool, look back and see how many principals have been moved to the head office to work on ‘special projects’. Please produce a list of all principles who have been fired in the last 10 years for performance.. I am happy to retract my statement if this can be done.

    As for the good doctor, hopefully he will be gone, but forget filling the post – allocate those resources so teachers are not spending their own money to paint classrooms, buy books for children etc.

    • Fed Up Bermudian says:

      Totally agree. Not many of them have very good management skills, either. Just because you’re excellent in the classroom doesn’t mean excellence in the role of principal.

  21. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    First, Heatley does not deserve any handshakes, golden or not.

    If there are seat warmers in MoE waiting for the opportunity to blast Heatley, then he tripped over his own feet. You cannot blame others for his lack of integrity, even if it presents the perfect storm for them.

    But what is to stop the Committee that hired him in the first place from making the same mistake, again and again? Why couldn’t they get it right? Why have they waited for events to unfold that make them look like lame ducks, with the inability to take proactive measures?

    And the gigantic problem which has always been the gigantic problem for MoE is POLITICS – the politics of all who have power within this Ministry flex their muscles. The part-time Minister claimed to want to speak directly with Dr Heatley on this matter, rather than have the Committee get solid answers from him and make a final determination that he (the Minister) should support.

    And this transpires into a severe lack of consistency by the OBA Government Ministers; such as, Minister Crockwell will not jump in and deal directly with staff issues, yet, Minister Gibbons speaks directly to Dr Heatley regarding his future as CoE? It does not matter that his is very senior, it is a staffing matter as directed from his contract. Each Minister appears to develop his/her own style of dealing with Government matters, even if it’s outside protocol norms and procedures.

    It is the collusion of so many individuals who have power and exert that power to the detriment of those who they are employed to help – the students. The Minister can decide to do his own thing, the Committee may not want to step on his toes, so they defer, Dr Heatley has neutralised his own powers and now other forces are taking a stand.

    Public education continues to limp along due to the political plays of educators, Ministers and former PSs. Once Government Ministers stop interfering, once the Committee get its act together, Dr Heatley’s future will be decided, but do not allow the public and/or principal heads to do the job for you. The Committee needs to make a final decision and stand by it.

    London, England

  22. swing voter says:

    The guy’s knee jerked reactions were due to lack of support and zero communication from the upper layers of CS and Government. I can’t blame him for feeling uncomfortable to the point of 2nd guessing his appointment in a very politically hostile environment where a billion dollar, top heavy, ineffective public school system fails over and over and over again and again.

  23. clearasmud says:

    I would like just one of those principals to show where they have the right to this No confidence vote. Despite our dislike of this man before he arrived to take on this job, I am sure that It is not against the law or his contract to investigate better opportunities for himself. He has the same right as anyone else to terminate his employment subject to the proper notice period. We have not heard from the people who hired him so we do not know if he has been doing the job he was hired to do so it is very premature to be suggesting that he be fired. The PS is relatively new to his role and he now has two ministries to oversee so I am not convinced that he can handle the load or that we do not need the comminisioner post. During a probationary period the civil service requires several interim performance reports and it would be interesting to find out whether in fact they were done and if so what they say!

  24. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    @Swing Voter…

    I totally disagree, go back and look at his history and performance, is he a shrinking violet? No, he has implemented very bold initiatives and taken very bold steps forward.

    Stop cuddling this man and making excuses for him. If he find’s Bermuda’s political education system to be too much, he never had the fortitude for this job in the first place.

    Right now he should be eternally grateful to keep his job, as his self-induced harm has made his international prospects a tad grim, at this time.

    Why not re-negotiate his contract, a reduction in salary would demonstrate a ‘shared sacrifice’. And no, I’m not being rude, next to the premier they (Cannonier and Heatley) are the most emotionally volatile individuals in public life in Bermuda.

    • Citizen Banned says:

      You forgot to put ‘London England’ at the end of your last message.

      • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

        As I may not in be London at this moment…

  25. Truth be told says:

    The fact of the matter is the school system was failing before he got here under the leadership of many of the Principals that voted no confidence. Take him out and put someone else there and I garuntee unless changes are made we will still have a failing system. Meanwhile we do not get to vote no confidence in Principals. We enable some of thier mad management when we(public,pta’s etc) try to run the school with no experience in the eudcation field but go simply on the fact that we like the person. We take this emotional outcry to the courts, win, stop the Ministry from doing their job and end up butthurt and crying like little babies that the children are still failing. STOP GETTING IN THE WAY.

  26. Starting Point says:

    He or the principals really have nothing to do with the education systems failure, ask yourselves why the best primary school on the island is considered to be St. Georges prep?

    simple answer really: Board run (not education department) and diversity – more successful families mixing with struggling families to set clear standards and expectations of the school.

    St. Georges Prep is a public school that operates like a private school, responds to new trends, controls content and climate within the school.

    ELIMINATE 80% (trying to be nice) of the education department – institute board run schools on the St.Georges model. Allocate increased resources to the central schools that do not benefit from a diverse student population, demonstrate the school commitment to education and market that to those successful families who would love nothing more than to have an extra 18K a year that they do not need to spend on education.

    • Starting Point says:

      note – above post is not meant to slight Ms. Lodge at St. Georges – she is wonderful imo. and is a factor in their success for sure.

  27. The Skink says:

    For those loyalists (UK Supporters) in the virtual audience. Just know that the UK educational system is in peril. There is just as much disquiet with education there. Time to chart our own course.

    1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8505639/British-education-system-is-our-greatest-national-crisis-says-David-Starkey.html

    2. http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/apr/02/tougher-marking-gcses-peg-grades-chinese-students-results?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

    • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

      The UK public school system has been in peril for a very long time. The UK debate rages on irrespective of what political party is in power, Conservative, Labour or Conservative/Lib-Dem.

      And their problems and challenges are more wide spread as there are so many different ethnic groups with cultural norms of faith, dress codes and language barriers. Bermuda’s challenges are not unique nor are they atrociously bad as most would like you to think.

      However, it is riddled with political bullets, it has become a Ministry of politics first, educators’ upward mobility second and educating students last.

      EoM needs to change its mindset to become both an example and the leader in moving Bermudians from a sense of ‘entitled’ to the position to – competing in a global job market based upon qualifications, experience and background in your relevant discipline. Noteworthy, being Bermudian should be a footnote in your CV, NOT a desired seal of approval to secure the job.

      There needs to be a culture change. It needs to be a Ministry of very well educated individuals who stop projecting the culture of, “I’m Bermudian, so I’m ‘entitled’ to the top position when it becomes available.”

      If any Ministry in Government should be identifying and changing the cultural mindset where Bermudians are demanding to be the first choice of the selection committee, it should be in Education. Because isn’t the rationale of higher education – you enter the job market door based upon your education [and experience] not your skin colour and/or ethnicity.

      Where education is truly failing in Bermuda, in my humble opinion, is where it fails to reject the mindset that Bermudian candidates are entitled’ to a position, in favour of, standing on their merits of qualifications and experience within their discipline.

      But a few questions beg to be answered, why would any educator rely upon, “a Bermudian is ‘entitled’ to the top position?” And on the flip side, is the Government actively seeking to change the ‘entitlement’ mindset within its ranks, (which has its roots planted in real fears of Bermudian candidates being passed over for key positions? But that rationale really does not apply in Government today. Note, I’m not addressing the private sector employment cultural norms here.

      It can be candidly stated that the Government has done positively nothing to demonstrate that they are actively seeking out the best candidates for the top positions in Bermuda, as the blunder by the selection Committee for a new CoE has clearly demonstrated. What when wrong and why deserves to be analysed.

      Addressing this cultural sense of ‘entitlement’ from its origins to its active implementation in employment opportunities in Bermuda can help to identify and root out some very destructive patterns in work and employment ethics in Bermuda.

      And why is all the above relevant? Because the interwoven patterns of who politically controls education, and, the delivered success rate of well educated Bermudians, will consistently place Bermudians in global standing for positions based upon ‘merit’ not entitlement. And when we turn that corner in thinking and action, we have truly taken control of our destiny.

      And yes, I’m back in London…

      London, England

      • The Skink says:

        Way too much entitlement in this island! Interesting how some Bermudians feel no problem in complaining about expats taking their jobs, when they apply for jobs overseas and usually expect to get those same jobs. Nothing is more self seeking in my opinion. Competing globally is not encouraged. I find this attitude is usually prevelent on islands.

  28. This guy reminds me of the fellow that would stand outside various bars on court street….he would blow on a trumpet until the owner or the manager or the bartender…or a patron would go outside and pay him to leave…he couldn’t hold a tune and it was erratic annoying noise….maybe we should pay him to leave…..stick a feather in his cap and call it macaroni….way too much noise…people having the need to spout like this are ussually in effectual and have need to self import…

  29. sick n tired says:

    I have to smile at all the comments supporting principals. Albeit that misrepresenting ones accomplishments in a job on an application is unethical or leaves a lot to be desired, that is an issue for the new Orleans school district board,.not Bermuda. The board off education should have checked and confirmed three qualifications of Dr. Heatley prior to hiring him to ensure that what he says he has and has done, he has and has done.

    Further, I keep seeing three comments about commitment to our system. Dr. Heatley was brought here to do a job for a period of three years, that is his level of commitment. Without the benefit if seeing his actual contact and the opt out clauses of either party,.we cannot make these generalized statements about his commitment.

    I would categorically love to see this level of outrage in principals who are incompetent and not performing well as administrators to be replaced. This is the first time for as long as I can remember that we have had a leader in education who has identified principal weakness, developed or implemented a professional growth plan for improvement of these principals, which we must note were getting their full pay while being trained to do a job that they applied for and said they could do …..or did they misrepresent their abilities????

    Maybe the teachers at several schools should take a vote of no confidence in their principals!!!! Ooops I forgot they may have to Conakry or get the permission of school PTAs.

  30. sick n tired says:

    Please excuse the typos…

  31. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    It is very disquieting that some educators are simply willing to overlook the fact that Dr Heatley has embellished his CV with results from the DoE that were realised before he came on board.

    If a student plagiarised his/her dissertation and/or report there would be severe consequences from the professor backed by his faculty members, which could include being expelled from university and a permanent record in your transcript.

    Dr Heatley is not in university, but in the real world of senior management in education, in a position which holds both power and influence. So, this is his example to his peers, to those that he manages and those who look up to him in respect and inspiration?

    And his actions in his Orleans application throws his Bermuda application into suspect. How vigorously, thoroughly and/or comprehensively was his application vetted in Bermuda? And, if it is re-visited now, will it stand up to scrutiny, in other words, will the results be the same?

    What Dr Heatley has demonstrated is how easy it is to walk over the selection Committee and get a job in Bermuda. With glaring controversies abound he was given the top post, even in an atmosphere of hostility. Conversely, how many controversial Bermudians are given the top jobs in their own country based upon the same dynamics? This Government is willing to go the extra mile for an expat, but not a Bermudian? Not a position that I’m taking, but a thought that I ponder.

    What continues to be demonstrated is that there is a lot of preferential treatment being extended to Dr Heatley. So, if the intent is to salvage his career in Bermuda by ‘talking up’ his paradigm for school principals, then take his model and have some-one else implement it. You have already paid for his plans, acknowledge his brilliance and the fact that they are his plans – not yours, but never attempt to suggest that because he has identified these key issues that he is indispensable and/or irreplaceable.

    The chain of commander needs urgent overhaul. Dr Heatley’s employment issue needs to be dealt with, but he is not the problem, he did not hire himself. The selection Committee needs serious changes, but that will never happen. And there needs to be a full-time Education Minister. A part-time PS vs a full-time PS? The glaring problems are at the top of the structure and they fan out into the education system.

    If we can sincerely thank Dr Heatley for anything, it is the fact that his appointment to the position of CoE and his subsequent actions (and by contrast the transparency of the Orleans School District) have unintentionally opened a window into the senior job selection process in Bermuda as it has shone a light on the systematic and systemic weaknesses therein.

    Are the schools principals playing hardcore politics with a very vulnerable CoE with their vote of no confidence? The injury to Dr Heatley was made by Dr Heatley. There are so many issues that come into play regarding education in general in Bermuda, and that’s before one gets to the most important issue of them all – the students.

    London, England

    • The Skink says:

      Public education in Bermuda used to be about the students, snd they did well. Somehow it has become about pay packages and the students have become pawns rather than players.

  32. The Skink says:

    Pardon my typo. I dare say that it is institutional racism that has promoted Bermudianisation. Also it is easier to put pressure on a contract worker and dismiss them than on a Bermudian in these management postions in the Public Sector. Dr. Heatley was arrogant and will face the wrath of the Bermudian Public.