A shake-up of secondary school principals is under way.
When the new term begins in September, Captain Michael Boyce, the current head of The Lester Vaughan School, will be take up the reins at Frederick Smith Secondary School in Trents, St James, Barbados TODAY understands.
Boyce is among five principals and one deputy being moved, with two other deputies being elevated to act as principal.
With the retirement of Vere Parris, principal of the Combermere School, he will be succeeded by Coleridge & Parry head Vincent Fergusson.
Also going on retirement leave is Springer Memorial School Principal Pauline Benjamin, who will be replaced by her current deputy Mitchelle Maxwell as acting principal.
Deputy Principal Bradston Clarke of Alma Parris Memorial School, which shuts down permanently tomorrow, is set to become the deputy at Springer.
An official source also told Barbados TODAY that St George Secondary School Principal Sonja Goodridge is to be transferred to Coleridge & Parry, and Dennis Browne, who is currently at the helm at Grantley Adams Memorial will replace Goodridge.
Browne’s vacated position will be filled by Valdez Francis, principal of the closing Alma Parris Memorial School.
Meantime, Deputy Principal of The Lester Vaughan School Tanya Harding will act in the post of principal at the Cane Garden institution, the official source said.
Efforts to reach Chief Education Officer Karen Best for comment on the transfers were unsuccessful up to the time of publication.
However, Minister of Education Ronald Jones has chastised educators and parents for passing on the myth to their students and children that there are “good schools and bad schools” in Barbados.
He argued yesterday that it was the quality of teaching, and not a school’s name, that mattered.
Jones addressed the issue at length at the St Bartholomew Primary graduation ceremony, after principal Hyacinth Harris reported on her school’s performance in the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination and noted that some of the students fell below the national average in both Maths and English.
“There is no good school, bad school. That is a dangerous syndrome which has crept in to the lexicon of Barbadians,” Jones said, as he advised the principal not to focus on the mean but to set targets she wanted the school to achieve in any given year.
“There is no need to get into this debate and force it down the throats and into the minds of our children.”
An adamant Jones said that despite the criticism he faced for that position, he was sticking to his guns that all schools were good schools “because in all of our schools are good people and, by and large, all of our people are good people.
“I do not believe in this harsh division . . . in our society that somehow if you go to school at ‘A’ you are better than someone who goes to ‘B’ or school ‘C’,” he maintained.
The Minister of Education further contended that school could take place anywhere – even under a tree – and still have an impact.
“If we change the names of every school in Barbados and we shut down every infrastructure and we take the children on the outside and give them quality education, there would be no school called Harrison College or Combermere,” he insisted.
Jones argued that instead of comparing schools, Barbadians needed to focus more on collaboration and raising the standards of all children in schools and in the country generally.