Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Response by CWYM refusing a request by a school Head of Music for WYO pupils to be released from an EXTRA Wyo REHEARSAL to attend a school CONCERT on a weekday

(Post made at 1558 BST on 26 Sep 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests). 

This is just one example of written evidence that seems to have been completely ignored in the surprising complaints investigation carried out by View HR Limited:

The WYO "Key Facts" document stated "in the event of a clash, the WYO expects the school event to take priority".  By contrast (and bear in mind that the rehearsal in question was just one of 6 extra rehearsals):

A school Head of Music wrote in late February 2017 that s/he had discovered that a WYO extra rehearsal clashed with a school concert on a weekday in March, and asked either for the WYO players involved to be released (as they were key players who younger pupils at the school looked up to as an example) or the head of music offered to rearrange the school concert timings that evening so that the players could participate both in the school concert and part of the WYO rehearsal.

The Centre's response (in an email on 3 March 2017) was to say that it was entirely up to the parents and WYO players whether to attend school events or WYO weekday rehearsals: “Yes we have some extra rehearsal time scheduled before the Gala Concert in March, but attendance at these weekday evening rehearsals is solely at the WYO members' and parents’ discretion and nothing to do with me. I have made it very clear to the WYO families that if they choose to attend WYO instead of a school event, that they must make it clear to the school that it is their decision and not mine - I do hope that this has been the case. Quite simply, weekday attendance is not my call.”

Open letter to the Bournemouth and Poole College's solicitors

(Post made at 1127 BST on 26 Sep 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests). 

From: Patrick Lee
Sent: 26 September 2017 11:24
To: johnandrews@steeleraymond.co.uk
Subject: Re Bournemouth & Poole College (your letter of 14 July 2017)

Open letter (i.e. public and non confidential)

Dear SteeleRaymond LLP

I refer to your letter of 14 July 2017 to me, titled “Bournemouth and Poole College”.

I believe your client (“the College”) may not have given you a full or accurate picture of the situation.  In particular with regard to the evidence supporting my concerns and those of other parents and teachers, and to the fairness and integrity of the independent complaints investigation carried out by View HR Limited, and hence the integrity and appropriateness of the College (and by extension your firm) relying on the outcome of that investigation.  Please confirm whether the College disclosed to you the full contents of my email of 26 June 2017 to the investigator (via the College member of staff appointed by its Quality Department as the point of contact), headed “Formal complaint with items numbered for clarity and ease of reference”?  You say in your letter that you do not believe that there is any evidence to substantiate the allegations I have made – did you make that statement despite having read my email of 26 June 2017 just referred to?

Monday, 25 September 2017

Bournemouth and Poole College: a failure of governance because of a lack of accountability and little apparent concern for ethics

(Post made at 2245 BST on 25 Sep 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests). 

In my opinion a flawed complaints system (which is being used to silence criticism rather than address it) is preventing accountability for poor practices.  In what way is the College accountable for what I believe to be very poor ethical behaviour, if it accepts the results of a manifestly flawed (and itself unethical, because of incorrect statements that no witnesses came forward to support complaints) "independent" complaints investigation?  Where is the accountability and ethics in the College refusing to allow an appeal despite the clear flaws in the investigation?  Where is the accountability in the College refusing to allow my concerns to be passed on to its Board? How is the College's refusal to investigate items complained about not a violation of its Complaints Policy? Aren't all these things further evidence of unethical behaviour and a failure of culture, governance and leadership at the Bournemouth and Poole College?

Friday, 15 September 2017

My concerns about the current operation of the College's Complaints Policy

(Post made at 1957 BST on 15 Sep 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests).  

In my opinion, based on my recent experience, there are many things about the current operation of the Bournemouth and Poole College's Complaints Policy that are inconsistent with good practice. Here are some of them:

The independent investigator appointed (and paid, although this is itself is not unusual) by the College objected to my taking a netbook (a small computer) to my first meeting with her, saying it made her feel uncomfortable, and there was no need for me to take notes because a notetaker from the College was present. I explained that I wanted to be able to refer to correspondence, and to take my own notes.  She insisted that she would prefer me not to. I therefore agreed to close the netbook. Soon in the meeting she asked me questions that I needed to refer to correspondence to answer, so I asked (and was granted permission) to temporarily open the netbook.  Towards the end of the meeting, I wanted to make a note of some action points that were down to me as a result of the meeting, so again I asked (and was granted permission) to write them down in my netbook. I said it was irregular that I was not allowed to take my own notes, in the way that I have done throughout my career to date, including meetings with senior lawyers, and in sensitive discussions.

The other complainant (my wife) had presented a detailed written statement to her first meeting with the investigator. (Her complaint and mine were being treated by the College as a joint complaint and were being investigated by the same investigator, albeit with separate meetings).

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Response eventually received from BPCollege Principal, very unsatisfactory in my opinion



(Post made at 1112 BST on 29 Aug 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests).  

See the comment added on 21 Aug 2017 to my previous post.

Monday, 31 July 2017

No response yet from BPCollege to my letter re significant concerns about the impartiality and fairness of recent complaint investigation

(Post made at 2354 BST on 31 Jul 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests. Update 01 Sep 2017: response eventually received from the College, please see the comment below this post).  

This is a follow up to the preceding post.  Here is a copy of an email I sent earlier to the College (the chain of emails referred to is shown in the preceding post and this one):

Open letter:
Dear Bournemouth and Poole College Principal (cc Quality team)

I do not appear to have had any response to my requests, despite asking that correspondence be forwarded to someone deputising for you in your absence:

  1. (see my email of 14 July below to your Quality team) “Please advise me which external agency is most appropriate.”
  2. (see my emails of 17 July below), asking for confirmation that my email of 1017 on 17 July has been forwarded to the Chair of the Bournemouth and Poole College Board together with my comments “Please also forward this to James Hampton, Chair of the Bournemouth and Poole College Board – I wish the Board to be aware of my concerns about the way this investigation has been conducted and to ask for a response from them.”
Please would you provide me with responses to 1 and 2 above as soon as possible, and no later than 1700 on Friday 4 August.

Yours faithfully

Patrick Lee

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

One more witness confirms s/he was not contacted by the College/Independent Investigator

(Post made at 1757 BST on 18 Jul 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests)

So far this makes a total of 6 supportive witnesses who say they were not contacted, and 2 who were, but were given a very unreasonable deadline (just over three hours before midnight to reply the same day).