The Commission of Enquiry into the Alexandra School has found nearly a dozen areas of concern with Principal Jeff Broomes’ management of the St. Peter institution and which it has concluded warrants his separation.
In his September 21, 2012 report, presented after more than a month of public hearings, sole commissioner Frederick Waterman said the commission “is in no doubt, based on the evidence, that the current principal, driven by a crusading zeal and misguided notions of his personal ‘transfor mational management style’, arrived at the Alexandra School in 2002 with a personal mandate to reform the school”.
“By his arrogance, his heavy-handed manner in dealing with the staff, his autocratic management style, Mr. Broomes, single-handedly alienated any goodwill which he may have had when he was appointed at the school,” the report said.
The document also stated:
“In particular, the commission finds that: he discriminated and victimised certain teachers; he mismanaged the school by denying relevant Heads of Department their statutory responsibility to be present at interviews of persons in their subject areas; he indulged in untenable managerial behaviour by his unorthodox hiring practices at the school; he was unwilling to deal with disciplinary matters in the school.
Other findings were that Broomes indulged in bullying and workplace abuse; he interfered in the functioning of the various departments of the school and felt that he could do it alone; he tried to implement too many things at one time; actions and motives that are inconsistent with his are viewed as being subversive; he manipulates the students; he shouts at the teachers and engages in demeaning and belittling behaviour towards the teachers in the sight and hearing of students; and he creates divisions amongst the staff.
“His fractured relationship with the chairman of more than one board of management, his treatment of the deputy principal, his disagreements with the senior staff and heads of department made his school and institution ripe for industrial unrest. His infamous speech on 2nd December 2011 was the culmination of his attacks on his senior staff,” the report stated.
“When it suits the principal he is known to flout the instructions and authority of the Chief Education Officer, but at other times he tries to solicit his assistance, for example writing letters to the Chief Education Officer complaining of the actions of chairman of the board of management and letters to the Chief Education Officer complaining of Mrs. Amaida Greaves.”
The commission report then said that “in light of the above findings, the commission recommends that if harmonious relations are to be restored at the Alexandra School, then the current principal cannot remain in his position as principal of the Alexandra School”.
“Immediate steps should be taken to invoke the provisions of section 5.5 of the General Orders of the Public Service to place the principal on a leave of absence from the school in the public interest while more permanent arrangements are negotiated for his re-assignment elsewhere in the public service, or alternatively, for his compulsory retirement from the public service,” it stated. (SC)