Alexandra School – The Way Forward

The wonderful sight of teacher and pupil reunited at the Alexandra School - Photo credit Barbados Advocate

It was evident to the most discerning when the Alexandra School issue reared its head – Alexandra School Dispute – Who Shall Lead The Children? – that the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) had reached the end of its tether fuelled by how past grievances were managed by the ministry of education. Many Barbadians became outraged that the ministry of education would have allowed the Alexandra dispute to become so protracted, six years and counting. Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Trade Union who possesses an above average knowledge of the workings of the public service posited that the – Alexandra School Impasse: [was] A Massive Failure Of Public Service Administration. He produced the PUBLIC SERVICE ACT 2007 – 41 with Amendment to support his view.

In fact when the BSTU departed from the heavily trodden path of grievance procedure and withheld labour which resulted in 30 Alexandra teachers on the picket line, acute discernment was unnecessary as to what was required. When the BSTU mobilized around a cry for the separation of Principal Broomes from the school it was obvious Houston had a problem. If that was not enough to spur all concerned into action, information revealed last week that the ministry of education was in possession of an inspection document for several months only served to confirm the lethargy and incompetence with which the fractured industrial relations climate at Alexandra Secondary School was allowed to descend.

Finally when a ministerial committee was constituted chaired by Minister of Education Ronald Jones, BU commentators knew it would have been in vain – “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. The BSTU had travelled that road before and  was known to have lost confidence in Minister Ronald Jones. The Prime Minister would have to intervene which is consonant with how IR disputes are resolved in Barbados anyway.

After 20 days of strike action Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart finally intervened on the weekend. The objective was to get the striking teachers teachers back to work. He achieved the objective a result complimented by Caswell Franklyn.  It was obvious from early in the impasse – confirmed by Sir Roy Trotman after the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) gave its support to the BSTU – that there would be no perfect solution to the Alexandra dispute. Prime Minister Stuart got the teachers to return to work and more than hinted that the job of righting the wrongs at the school had to be started. It is regrettable that many Barbadians have not seen Stuart’s action for what it is i.e. getting the teachers back to the classroom.

BU agrees 100% with the Prime Minister that we live in a barbecue pig tail era where form too often seems to trump substance. Imagine BU’s surprise to hear President Walter Maloney expressing concern about the students being roped into the dispute. Why the hell did he not come out when it was happening and condemn it at that time? Why did Winston Crichlow, the head of the principals association feel constrain to comment after the Prime Minister got the teachers to return to the classroom, a prerequisite to moving the matter forward? Why did the Alexandra Parents Teachers feel they had to issue a statement to the press and demand that teachers and the ministry of education make an action plan available to them about making up the lost hours?

They all need to shut the hell up and allow Prime Minister to deliver what he has promised!


  • John
    Let’s be real here…a headmaster in Barbados with a Board of Management which has a TreasurerSecretary…not to mention his own personal secretary…At most drafting correspondence will be his major office task..he then has to walk the corridors to see all is well maybe twice a day… maybe a disgruntled parent visit once a week, maybe a visit from girl guides or buying a poppy…The accountingfeasibility function is done by the he can relax…what else…surely boredom will set in ..he may find himself off school to alleviate…That’s why a class or two there somewhere would be the mark of a true educator.


  • In the case of AX we had a Chairman no less than the calibre of a former government minister and AG in Keith Simmons.

    There is much more to be written in the AX Saga.


  • @ David

    Board ..what Board.. I was told Jeff tried to man-handle that too.
    Haven’t you read in the Barbados Today: Grievances….on how the Board would set up interviews( in conjunction with Heads of Dept) to hire staff only to be cancelled by the Headmaster ??

    Where was the Chairman’s voice ?


  • @old onion bags
    I sincerely hope you don’t truly believe that that’s all a Principal’s job entails, particularly in this current environment

    the principal is considered a “master teacher” and “instructional leader.” He / she therefore from time to time take up an occasional class (not consistently) to keep relevant, understand the realities on the ground and be an example to other teachers. Of course I’m speaking theoretically.

    Much more will be told. My fear is that it has also dived into the realm of politics. There must be some backlash somewhere.


  • old onion bags | January 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM |

    Let’s be real here…a headmaster in Barbados with a Board of Management which has a TreasurerSecretary…not to mention his own personal secretary…At most drafting correspondence will be his major office task..he then has to walk the corridors to see all is well maybe twice a day… maybe a disgruntled parent visit once a week, maybe a visit from girl guides or buying a poppy…The accountingfeasibility function is done by the he can relax…what else…surely boredom will set in ..he may find himself off school to alleviate…That’s why a class or two there somewhere would be the mark of a true educator.

    That’s not quite how it works with respect to the board …. and I doubt you will find a Principal claiming to be bored and having nothing to do!!

    I think you will find the following:

    That the Board of Management may meet once a month with the Principal present.

    That the Chairman will probably be the busiest member, will be active during a month outside of the monthly meetings, and will be paid differently from board members who will probably receive an honorarium.

    That the board doesn’t get involved in day to day activities.

    That the accounting function is done by the ancilliary staff and while the board may be responsible the principal oversees this activity.

    You will also find that the output of this accounting staff in the form of cheques, is signed off by two board members as a check and balance.

    I guess you run a business which supplies products or services to a school and have looked at who signs the cheques.

    If things work right, the Minister, the Ministry, the Board, the Principal and the Staff, both ancilliary and teaching, work together to deliver a product …. education to pupils.

    Each does his/her bit and all work in a team.

    All sing in the same choir.

    If the Board has any sense it will meet formally and informally with all staff and the principal (MBWB) a few times during the school year.

    There will be occasions when parents and the Board will be together, and if things work right, it usually happens only at graduation …. and the parents don’t have a clue who the members are, except the Chairman and perhaps the Deputy Chairman.

    Nothing wrong with a Principal teaching occasionally if there is an emergency … but that means being able to teach any form at any level because emergencies are unpredictable.

    There will be incidents which may strain relations but once there is communication they can be dealt with.

    It is clear here that there was a breakdown in communication and territory was being staked out.

    Just can’t work in an educational institution.


  • old onion bags re. your post of Jan 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM;

    Thanks for at least going one step towards doing the decent thing.
    Of course you have not substantiated any thing you said or answered my request repeated below:

    Please show me where:- 1) I was on on a crusade asking for the necks of Mary Redman and those ” rouge teachers”, and 2), in the unlikely event that you can find some obscure statement that could reasonably be interpreted to suggest that I was asking for punishment of Mary Redman and the teachers, show me where I was doing so with venom .

    But I didn’t expect even this slight capitulation.

    Awright den!


  • Supposed 30 teachers at AX decided to sue for the bullying, autocratic and brusque behaviour of the principal? Don’t laugh, such cases have been heard and tested in the English courts 9which we often follow).


    ” Barber v. Somerset County Council

    9 March 2001: former maths department head Alan Barber has been awarded £100,000 damages for stress suffered whilst at East Bridgewater School in Somerset. The court heard how Mr Barber suffered depression following “brusque, autocratic and bullying” behaviour of head teacher Margaret Hayward. A restructuring exercise meant that Mr Barber’s workload increased but resources were withdrawn. Despite being alerted, the school responded unsympathetically and did nothing to alleviate the situation. Somerset County Council plan to appeal.

    Browell v. Northumberland County Council

    11 October 2001: primary school teacher Christine Browell has gained a £100,000 out-of-court settlement against Northumberland County Council after they failed to deal with claims of bullying by the former head teacher of Mowbray First School in Guidepost, near Choppington, Northumberland. The council refused to admit liability, claiming she did not use formal grievance procedures to make her complaint that the head had harangued her in public. However, grievance procedures are inadequate in bullying cases, especially where the bully is the person to whom one would normally take the grievance.”


  • @ check-it, David
    Now I hope you all know where this going….that extract by Ping Pong did not just jump in here by chance..words to the wise

    I hear a horse Galloping..


  • As we consider “the way forward”, should Barbados establish a Teachers’ Service Commission similar in function to that of the UK’s Teaching Agency (the planned successor to the General Teaching Council)?

    The Teaching Agency will replace the General Teaching Council in England in 2012. Of interest is the General Teaching Council’s disciplinary orders and decisions which are on the internet in accordance with statute.

    For example:

    name: Mrs Maureen Waters (hearing at Regus, 1 Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BD)
    teacher reference number: 7235189
    type of decision/order: Conditional Registration Order (issued without limit of time)
    date made: 31 Oct 2011

    Disciplinary order made by the GTC

    Hearing of Professional Conduct Committee

    On 31 October 2011 a disciplinary order was made against Mrs Maureen Waters, teacher reference number 7235189, taking immediate effect.

    Mrs Maureen Waters was found guilty of serious professional incompetence in that whilst employed at William Cobbett Junior School, Surrey, between September 2008 and March 2010, she consistently failed to perform to the required standard in the following areas:

    i) planning and preparation
    ii) differentiation including appropriate pace and challenge
    iii) time management and meeting deadlines
    iv) marking and assessment.

    Mrs Maureen Waters received a Conditional Registration Order (issued without limit of time). The conditions are that:

    i) should Mrs Waters commence any full-time or part-time contract of one year or more continuous duration in any school she shall:
    a) undertake and successfully complete a re-entry, refresher or equivalent recognised course, if available, based on the National Standards or, alternatively undertake and successfully complete an appropriate and substantial internal performance management training procedure that address the issues of:
    1) planning and preparation
    2) differentiation including appropriate pace and challenge
    3) time management and meeting deadlines
    4) marking and assessment

    ii) she will commence such course or training procedure as set out in condition 1 within three working months of, and successfully complete the course or training procedure within one year of, commencement of such a position as set out in condition i)

    iii) she will provide to the Registrar of the GTC, or appropriate individual at any successor organisation, confirmation of satisfactory completion of the condition set out in i) and such confirmation has to be provided within two months of successful completion.

    Note that Principals and Deputy Principals are also held accountable as shown in the following case:

    name: Ms Pamela Allen (closed session)
    teacher reference number: 7449480
    type of decision/order: Conditional Registration Order (issued without limit of time)
    date made: 4 Nov 2011

    Disciplinary order made by the GTC

    Hearing of Professional Conduct Committee

    On 4 November 2011 a disciplinary order was made against Ms Pamela Allen, teacher reference number 7449480, taking immediate effect.

    Ms Pamela Allen was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct in that whilst employed as deputy headteacher at Cottingley Village Primary School, between 2001 and 2010, she:

    i) inadequately managed child protection issues, by:
    a) failing to keep adequate records of child protection concerns raised about two pupils
    b) failing to completed EB19 forms when making Children’s Social Care referrals, on dates unknown after 2007
    c) failing to transfer pupil’s case file to other schools following child’s transfer, in respect of three pupils

    ii) failed to take action and follow up on child protection concerns raised with her about 35 different pupils between March 2004 and December 2010.

    Ms Pamela Allen received a Conditional Registration Order (issued without limit of time). The condition is that Ms Allen, shall be subject to a condition, effective without limit of time:

    i) that she shall not work within a school in a post with any management responsibility for child protection, either paid, or unpaid
    ii) that she may only practise in a school as a main scale classroom teacher.

    I would imagine that if one wanted to bring together in common purpose the BWU, the NUPW, the BSTU, BAPPSS and the BUT, a Government only has to recommend such an agency and a system for Barbados to see all hell break loose! LOL.


  • @Ping Pong

    If it can happen in the Mother Country, a country which we model our little country after in more ways than one, why on earth would you think a similar entity couldn’t be established in Little England?


  • @Ping
    Ping Pong are you a teacher ?…
    If so
    It seems that you ladies got more than just separation on the minds.Excuse my forwardness…


  • @David and Ping Pong
    A teachers’ service commission has been recommended and requested for quite some time now (over 3 years). No action by the relevant agent(s) as yet though.


  • Observing

    You are right to some extent when you say that a teaching service commission was recommended for over three year. In fact the Constitution was amended in 1974 to establish a teaching service commission but the amendments relating to that commission have not been proclaimed.

    There is absolutely no need for a teaching service commission. There is a need to strengthen the secretariat – the Personnel Administration Division, which deals with the day-to-day human resource management of the entire Public Service. Like everything else in the Public Service, the Personnel Administration Division has been corrupted by political interference and as a result, the place is staffed by too many square pegs trying to fit into round holes.


  • Time for a change.

    Enough talk.

    Everybody needs calling to account.


  • @Caswell
    “There is absolutely no need for a teaching service commission.

    My guts and instinct tell me you’re wrong there. Will revisit after some thought, research.and conversation.


  • old onion bags re. your post of Jan 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM;
    You said: It seems that you ladies got more than just separation on the minds.Excuse my forwardness.

    Seems to me the examples are quite even handed and suggest that ping-pong may not only be looking at curbing bullying principals but at disciplining insubordinate teachers as well. The separation issue did not leap out at me. Perhaps you know ping pong personally?

    I’ve also noted the resident Unionist’s reaction. …. There’s nothing to see here, move on.


  • @John
    “Everybody needs calling to account.”

    More than that…cuz something would have to be seriously wrong in this country when we would sell shares in the BL&P (belonging to NIS) for $25 to a Canadian company called Emera…which in less than 12 months thereafter listed the shares @ $ 70….
    Now those monies from the sale of the NIS shares are being sought by a Professor who seemingly can’t find outside investors for Four Seasons..but asking Bdo’s Govt to do invest in a project nobody wants to touch. and the Board NIS ok it…well well

    In effect we would be moving money from a GOOD SAFE INVESTMENT ..BL&P shares…to an UNSURE ONE …Four Seasons..under the pretense ..”it go provide jobs for Barbadians…..sick

    What is going on in this place????
    See: on this Blog>>>Stop Blaming all on Global Economies<<<<<<


  • @Check-it
    Checkit-Out | January 29, 2012 at 6:36 PM |
    Seems to me the examples are quite even handed and suggest that ping-pong may not only be looking at curbing bullying principals but at”

    Come clean are you the PM??????


  • With all the talk about removing Mr Broomes, this government knows they must come with FACTS and what they have from a report and word of mouth CANNOT stand up in court. Maybe in Barbados “injustice” can be done, but the CCJ will overtrurn for lack of factual evidence. The British law still states, a person is innocent until proven guilty, and that must be beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore all you Broome haters will have to come with facts, proof, not “street fact or proof” but genuine evidence . The P.M was made to like stupid for listening to one side and not the other in this dispute and that too can go against the MOE/government if they try dismissing Mr Broomes.


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  • Old Onion Bags; re your Jan 29, 2012 at 7:23 PM post;
    You’re really brilliant. Extraordinary deduction!

    David; Could Onion Bags be an amalgam of different individuals posting from the same IP address? The Onion bags who posts on the AX matter can’t be the one who posts very sensibly on other topics.


  • @ check-it
    I see you have shifted me like a hot bate..but that is ok…
    As to my writing in other place….a carpenter does know his tools…that’s my field not education or journalism. Numbers give numbers any day.


  • Old Onion Bags

    Awright den!


  • @Caswell

    I am seized of the facts of the pension Acts. As I have said to you previously on this matter tell me in this situation where you can argue special case. Further, based on the formula he would not lose any pensionable years as he would have achieved his 33 1/3 years for pension, however how to you respond to a charge that there i s opportunity cost for earning a bigger pension and gratuity if he works until 67.

    Do you know of any case(s) in Barbados where this has/have obtained and was/were there any challenges and what was/were the outcome(s). Futher afar what about in the commonwealth .

    I await your response.


  • @ Check-it
    Old Onion Bags; re your Jan 29, 2012 at 7:23 PM post;
    You’re really brilliant. Extraordinary deduction!

    I was joking… and so I believe so are you..


  • Old Onion Bags;
    I was indeed joking also, but I was never really good at jokes.
    Awright den?


  • Well we though it could not happen….but the AX site on cooooool dennnnnn Bush tea purging ..Scout gone camping..Check-it @ D hilton and ac turn up so high she chillliiiiinnnn.

    Praise the Lord…a sign its ova. (>12 HOUR since this submission)


  • Old Onion Bags;
    I saw what appears to be an unedited, unexpurgated 2nd clip of FS’ victory press conference on the AX solution on the Nation website last night. (Remember that the 2nd part of the address wasn’t available last week. It now is.) FS’ own words show beyond a shadow of a doubt that the PM presaged his remarks about the circus and the children being dragged kicking and screaming into the fray by expressing a concern about the parents and thereby connecting his later remarks with them. The remarks were therefore connected, the AX parent and teacher was correct. The PM’s friend Gollop was twisting the truth. AX was absolutely right in her comments about Gollop’s intervention. Babb did not need to apologize.


  • @ Check-it
    I was between minds if to reply to you, as they say, non response favors concurrence.
    Firstly, you should have let sleeping dogs lie…..and Babb rightfully apologized. Gollop never twisted the truth….I don’t know what unedited version you saw, so I won’t comment in fairness.
    Never the less, I see you are quite willingly to wake up the clowns with your jaunty remarks which the majority of Barbados (only hearing one edited speech) came to the same conclusion as I have.
    But there again….bring on the crusade.


  • Goo morning oinion there was an article in the nation on Sunday where a retired teacher talked about her days as Principal of AX it was refreshing to read about her management style during her years and the teachers input . It is so much that Broomes could have learnt if he had talked to her after becoming Principal


  • @ ac
    Goodmorning gf
    Do you honesty believe Broomes would listen to advice from a woman far less anybody?Broomes cut from the same cloth as Bushie..who also informed he is from a fishing village somewhere in the north..and he not afraid to let me have a few expletives should I annoy him..and Scout who as you know very dogmatic and can only see outta one eye..
    You notice how quiet they gone lately though, only a fellow who like sounding like a prime minister (Awrite.).did attempt to poke at the onion this morning..guess he was a bit action an all…tell me about ..he hear an unedited version…( dat don’t be released sonny) null.
    Like they say when the licks too HOT some does run out D kitchen.
    Or could it be they gone to help Uncle pack he georgie bunnel..?
    Hold ya back


  • ac
    I’ve gone quiet simply because all the talk and walk Mary Redman and the striking teachers did, all the demands Mary Redman made, as I’ve said before , she had to eat humble pie and return to work. Mr Broomes is STILL principal, the ady has gone to teach the form she refused, the disgruntled teachers are ALL back at work and , as was instructed, following the instructions given to them by Mr Broomes. There were/is some personel from the MOE at the school but they can only OBSERVE. So what else do you want me to say, I told you this would happen and it did, so as far as I’m concerned, that matter is OVER.


  • sorry scout but i ain’t the one who rattled yuh cage. so you can return to your place of peace and quiet and wait for broomes final curtain call.


  • ac
    You. old onion bags, Mary Redman, the striking teachers, the BSTU and any others, are ALL hanging your heads down in shame. Yes, Mr Broomes will leave AX, like all his predesessors and the school will go on. no one knows the future, for many tomorrow sun may never rise but if life continues as it is going now for Mr Broomes, he will be at AX for a while yet. Let’s just forget what occurred and let peace reign at the school. The striking teachers have realise their folly and have return to do their duty, that is teach the student, and take instructions from the principal, therefore let sleeping dogs lie


  • Scout you must have had a hard day cause you are daydreaming. !


  • Here Scout have a tissue..ole soon gine B ova ..ya fight a good fight.


  • Ac Morning gf
    Have you any updates news on what’s happening…in Speighstown?
    Looks like our nemeses have retired with old age (or sorrow)
    Bushie not answering a combatant call? Scout running to talk bout Mia?
    D prime minister(chk-it)…mumurring awrite at everything?
    Is that not a sure sign of surrender or what?You mean no one can muster the strength of a final Gen.Custard’s charge like a true 4 star general as you so proport ?
    I never thought I would live to see the day.


  • Old Onion bags;

    Today’s daily nation is reporting that there has been no observable movement into stage 2 so far. Why you so sure it soon gine be ova?

    Cecil McCarthy in his column “everyday law” makes some interesting observations re. the role and powers of the Board (the BOM) – and hence of the principals- of the Barbados Secondary Schools. He says for instance:-

    In Barbados, BOMs only employs and is entrusted with disciplinary powers over the non-teaching staff of the school. (The principal is teaching staff so is not employed by or susceptible to discipline by the BOM).

    The principal is mandated to supervise both teaching and non-teaching staff of the school.

    The principal is responsible for keeping a number of records.

    It therefore seems likely that Pricipal Broomes might have been on good grounds re. some of the complaints made against him by the BOM in the Inspection report. It looks as if a battle royal is still possible beneath the seeming calm of the current situation.

    Perhaps BSTU acted a bit prematurely on the degree of dispatch of the implementation of Stage 2.


  • @Check it out
    The BSTU trusted the words “with dispatch” and “compromised” their bargaining position of going back while Broome was still there. Just another in a series of their strategic errors regardless of outcome.

    I challenge anyone to find any instance of “dispatch” in government other than the David Thompson football tournament and the 17.5% VAT in the past 2-3 years.


  • Perhaps BSTU acted a bit prematurely on the degree of dispatch of the implementation of Stage 2.

    Do you care to retract?….Mary Queen of Scots has nothing to do with implementation…..her job await a higher hand, until then, yesterday was seen resuming classes as only a good and faithful servant does.

    BOM Chairman at Ax would never has the balls to cull ole Jeffrey..being down trodden by a past friend of a friend…many of his teeth were trophy-ied as reminders. What is of most pertinence now is the coming elections and promises made.Mia now have kicked dust to the wind has signaled a perfect opportune to ring that bell …Go ahead Mr. PM..(Awrite)


  • I decided to keep out of the fray for a while..I being a simple man.

    (1) Have the teachers returned to Alexandra School?
    (1) Is Principal Jeff Broomes still at the School?
    (1) Has the Principal been “separated” from the school?

    One person wrote some days ago he- Jeff Broomes – was clearing his desk does he work at the White House? he must have a very big desk indeed.
    – – – – – – — – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    It does not matter a lot what happens “now” the initial objective was not achieved. “We will not return to Alexandra School until the Principal has been “separated” from the school.”


  • Onions; The only sensible thing you wrote above was that Mia (and Owen) have signalled a perfect opportunity for Freundel to correct past mistakes and call an election with dispatch. Will he take it up? Awrite den?


  • @ Check -it
    How dare you say I wrote non sense ? your place.
    You give your self too much liberty…No need to debate further..its a foregone conclusion now Crusader of a Loss Cause . As to Fumblino….he could not with “act dispatch” if barbados was in child labor…so you need to push him.Again we will hear “opportunity loss”..the cry of the D’s


  • Onions; Getting back to the question of who tricked whom in the 2 meetings held between the PM and BSTU, It now seems to me that there was a high degree of mutual trickery going on. Mary tricked the PM into giving assurances to the BSTU that the Principal would be separated with dispatch (which she felt meant in a short time frame, perhaps days). The PM tricked her in the same respect as “with dispatch” (based on his own words) meant up to months for him. Now, inasmuch as the continuum for dispatch given by the PM was days, weeks or months, and given that he didn’t mention years, the outside time frame, for him, would be sometime between the end of this political term and 23 months ( -ie. just under 2 years). Therefore his time frame for the promised separation could arguably be up to 23 months, if he were still in power at that time.

    Mary’s time frame, OTOH, was almost certainly days, which is still possible, but unlikely, if the principal is minded to fight to the bitter end. The PM has no magic bullet to get him out, given public service procedures, practice and regulations. By next week monday it will move into weeks. and the “weeks” part of the continuum kicks in.

    Mary was probably tricked through taking the PM’s promises of “with dispatch” literally. I’d be very surprised if she expected this outcome so far. But we still have a few days to go to see if the PM has worked a bit more magic and Mr. Broomes is separated within 2 weeks.

    I suspect many will be looking for evidence that the separation is on the way over the next several days, weeks and even months. In the meantime you can continue to periodically proclaim an incomplete and debatable victory for the BSTU.

    Awrite den?


  • @ Check-it
    What about the elections?


  • If we read McCarthy correctly Broomes should have reflected in his log book/Diary some very interesting information.


  • David; Also of interest might be the duty for the principal to keep a daily attendance register for teachers. Since the teachers are not ostensibly the concern of the Boards, is this something that is actually kept currently? Also, in the specific case of AX, if it was indeed being kept it might provide some alternative documented proof, or at least some insight, into the claims and counter claims of the Principle and the BSTU re. an allegedly insubordinate teacher.


  • Commonsense says that the Board the Principal and the vice Principal must at least be on the same page.

    Each needs the other.

    Ideally, the Principal and vice Principal benefit from a wide range of experience the members of the board can bring to the table and their contacts.

    The Board benefits from having face to face feedback with the Principal and Vice Principal of what is going on and gets to know of impending problems long before they occur .

    Together they monitor the implementation of plans and collectively come up with solutions to any problems/opportunities which present.

    There should be no surprises if that relationship is working and no firefighting.

    The minutes of the meetings should reflect ordered life at the school and the progress towards implementation of plans the Principal, vice Principal and Board are trying to see to fruition ….strategic plan agreed to by teaching staff, ancilliary staff, vice principal, principal, board and ministry.

    The Board will have a representative from the ministry as well so all stake holders are represented.

    The institution then concentrates on the delivery of top quality education to the pupils and satisfaction to their parents which after all are its raisons d’etre.

    Board members will bend over backwards to make a contribution to the continued well being of the institution for the term of their appointment.

    There will be no financial gain for its members who will be trying to give back to society of their time and skills.

    This should happen naturally and not require the force of law, that is not to say that all the players do not need to be aware of their responsibilities.


  • Perhaps PM Stuart had sight of the logs!


  • David;
    Perhaps. But is there a strong relationship – vis a vis the AX matter – between the writer of the column in Today’s Nation and the AX principal? If that relationship exists and there was something in the logs that would have weakened the principal’s case would you expect that the writer would have gratuitously flagged the logs as one of the documents mandated to be kept by principals for their BODs?


  • @ checkit-out
    Speaking as a principal who knows, yes the Education Act speaks to such an attendance record. However, conflicting instructions have resulted in most teachers NOT signing -in. The Newer Secondary Schools are the ones who usually conform. Since It either does not exist or is not enforced in the so-called older grammar schools (H.C; Q.C) ,teachers in the newer secondary schools, acting on the advice of their union, seldom sign in. Mr. Broomes is quite in order to ask teachers to record their arrival times as this is mandated in the Education Act. Teachers who refuse are in essence BREAKING THE LAW.


  • Only a week has gone by. Matters pertaining to the school are being handled by the MOE. The Pm knows what the ramifications would be if Mr. Broomes stayed at AX . Does anyone believe he is willing to take that chance . i don’t think so. BTW the BSTU still holding the cards! BRoomes out or WE BSTU OUT AGAIN! Any one willing to bet the odds of having a BSTU Strike again!


  • @Checkit-out

    If the PM reviewed the logs it is academic at this stage what McCarthy scribes in his column.


  • David;

    Note “just wondering’s” response above. Looks like another point for Broomes. Could this be one of the grouses that the BSTU had against Broomes? If it is, it is suggestive that Mr. Broomes methodology, while sticking to the letter of the law, could have alienated a number of the older teachers.

    In fact, extrapolating from this, it may well turn out that many of the complaints that BSTU and the BOD might have had against the Principal, might have been rooted in his strict observance of the letter of the Education Act.

    If that turns out to be so, it will be very interesting to see how the FS separation solution will be effected against someone who, even if perhaps misguidedly, was demonstrably seeking to have teachers operate in accordance with the Act. Would it be possible for the PM to maintain a semblance of fairness while separating someone whose major crime would have been in enforcing the provisions of a duly proclaimed Act and the regulations thereto, that related to his job as principal?

    Oh what a tangled web.


  • I doubt the principal’s log book will be of any significance in this issue. Very few Principals actually record info of great import in these books which are never reviewed by the MOE. The book tends to reflect special activities on the school’s calendar, the school’s performance in sporting/cultural events, any major disruptions to the normal school day, e.g power outage, an invasion of bees, a major disturbance – things of that nature, names of new teachers or those going on leave. The Principal could also record any problems with particular staff members who by law, must be informed of the entry and must be given an opportunity to read it and to respond to it.


  • Hi ac
    Why a BSTU strike again, you said Mr. Broomes was clearing his desk?


  • yardbroome . the possibility is only there if the PM renigs and the PM is NOT a MAN that he should lie. ON THAT I REST MY CASE.


  • Just wondering;

    Thanks for responding to my post above. I am a frustrated detective at heart and actually your response has provided me with one of the clues that I had been searching for.

    From what you’ve said; The Principal could also record any problems with particular staff members who by law, must be informed of the entry and must be given an opportunity to read it and to respond to it. , it seems as if this log book would be of great value in the disputed paper trail for the letters that the principal allegedly sent to the MOE. You may recall that the CEO-MOE indicated that no such letters were found at the MOE while Mr. Broomes insisted that he had delivered the letters to the registry and that they had been lost by the MOE.

    If the log exists, and if the principal recorded what would have been an act of disobedience by a teacher in the log, the existence of that dated and properly sequenced record would constitute some additional measure of proof that the letters Mr Broomes claimed that he had sent, had indeed existed, contrary to claims by some on this blog. The paper trail for the letters would have been somewhat strengthened. On the other hand, if there is no such entry on the relevant dates, it could call in question Mr. Broomes’ portrayal of the situation.


  • Wow I see we back at it again. Check-it just can’t get enough of the Get Mary Redman Crusade ( he has denied it too)…..Time longer than rope ac …give the PM a little latitude…Yardbroom …chill…news will soon break


  • Guys, let’s not forget this whole saga started because Broome’s asked BSTU teachers to account for and confirm their presence at Teacher’s Professional Day before being paid, back in 2006/8 I believe. “Separating” a manager for “managerial style” be it bad or ridiculous is not quite straightforward. The challenge in “resolving” this matter is the precedent setting nature of it. All loose ends have to be tied up or else its open season afterwards.
    For the BSTU to strike again would raise the ire of the public tenfold. It was interesting that there was an even split in the public about the PM’s move. speaks volumes..


  • @Checkit-Out

    You are going around the mulberry bush because if Broomes as suggested is a stickler for insisting on the law as articulated in the education act then one should reasonably expect meticulous and accurate records in his log book.


  • @checkit-out
    Notice I said the Principal “could”. What goes in the school’s log book is left to the discretion of the Principal. Something as important as a teacher being insubordinate and failing to carry out her duties (as has been alleged) may not appear in the log book. If the teacher in question is guilty, then the principal should have spoken to her at least once before writing to the Ministry. That conversation SHOULD be in logbook. If she continued not to follow the Principal’s instructions after that conversation, he should have either asked her to put her refusal in writing or he should have written to her on the issue confirming his instruction and her refusal to comply . Such correspondence should then be placed on the teacher’s file, and forwarded to the MOE as an attachment to the whatever communication that was being sent on the matter. it is important that both Principals and teachers understand and follow procedures especially when dealing with matters that are likely to attract the attention of the union.


  • Just wondering;
    Thanks again for your extremely clear post above. Reading between the lines, it seems possible that the Principal and or the teacher might or might not have followed mandated procedures to the T. If the principal erred procedurally in this matter (given the heavy guns against him) it seems that he might have made himself vulnerable to an early separation but could still fight the matter over an extended period or could take an early retirement. If he did’nt, the Teacher might have made herself vulnerable to some disciplinary action by CPO / MOE which we could probably expect that the Union might frown on. In any case, a matter of this type could take years for eventual unravelling and any resultant necessary action.

    I wonder if BSTU would be willing to have the matter drag on for an extended period, especially if Mr. Broomes were still tenuously connected to AX during that time.

    David; sorry to be apparently going around the mulberry bush again.


  • Even if everything was not recorded in the log book, one must investigate if this is peculiar to AX or if all or most of the other principals do the same thing. In case thids is the norm with most or all of them, and this is the only thing against Mr Broomes, then we need to correct them all or fire them all.not just Mr Broomes.It is simple the BSTU erred badly and now they CANNOT strike again or they will face the FULL WEIGHT for so doing. Plan “B” is in place in case this happens. Yes, teachers are important but we CANNOt allow hold our youth to ransome.


    WHO NEXT?….MUGABE??.. ASSAD??…………………………




  • Its now two weeks since the striking teachers returned to AX. Things have gone quiet. Anyone has any information on what is happening at the School? Does the MOE have a permanent supervisory presence there? Is Mr. Broomes carrying out his job as Principal?


  • @check itout

    No the MOE does not have a permanent supervisory presence however the day to day activities of the school are being accounted for!
    Is Mr. Brromes carrying out his job as principal. Yes ! that is what he is being paid for .until he is kicked out.


  • Surprising coincidence we have Tony Marshall who is Chairman of NIS and former CLICO director and Jepter Ince, parliamentary Secretary and Senator and former Executive of ClICO who headed their Balanced Fund.


  • Many wondered how long it would have taken before brother Broomes was in the news again. Let us hope Deputy Greaves (husband of department head Greaves who teaches at AX) deals with the matter of Broomes instructing a teacher to cut off the muff of a student with dispatch.


  • @ David
    If your sources are correct..the so instructed teacher must have been from one of the “remained 20″….who Jeff would have attempted to communicate.For as far as news reaching the onion bags,( and this is a good source)…there is no communication with from the 30…the man is being treated like a ghost denn…


  • Say it ain’t so! Alexandra School is featuring negatively in the headlines again. This time about an alleged haircut and the suspension of the same student, again I must say allegedly, for gambling outside the Speightstown Bus Terminal.

    I am not going to concern myself about the haircut at this stage, I will allow the police and whoever handle that matter, because cutting that boy’s hair without his consent would amount to assault and battery, so I will wait and see.

    I am more concerned about the suspension for gambling, since it would appear that it is ok to gamble on the school’s compound. During the strike, students were seen gambling all over the school with impunity. At that time they were in support of uncle Jeff, and those little angels could not have done anything wrong at that time. Oh what a tangled web we weave…


  • @Check-it
    Where is that fellow known for:
    1) I was on on a crusade asking for the necks of Mary Redman and those ” rouge teachers”, and 2), asking for punishment of Mary Redman and the teachers, doing so with venom .
    Yes CKIT..I remain resolved and I add to that you cloak is lifting, being that you fail to comment on only the Ax matter…one wonders your closeness and one-sided agendas to matters


  • This is a Broomes media play.Check it.How better to look good after the last episode..having taking a BASHING….Spot-light>> “Disciplinarian to the Rescue.” a man of action also….send a lowly teacher to cut the boy hair..keep your distance in case legal complication.

    Broomes will not miss a play boy.


  • Old Onion Bags; I never cease to be amazed by your seeming lack of comprehension or your ability to set up a patently untrue situation and then continuously trying to whip me with it. Yuh sound like a political consultant doh.

    Anyhow, re. this current matter, I don’t think that both sides have yet been fully aired and I’ll wait to comment definitively when that happens.

    Re. your comment about “a broomes media play”, with the info available in the public domain, it could just as well be a ” strikers media play” to try to speed matters up.

    With the CEO on leave, as reported in the nation, don’t you think that the Ag CEO should recuse himself from this matter?

    In my book, It seems totally stupid for a teacher to cut a boys hair. I would think that the child would have been sent home with a note to his parents not to send him back until he complied with the school’s regulations. We need the full story on this.

    In my book, It would have been totally stupid for that teacher to cut the Boy’s hair on the instructions of Mr. Broomes. Were those instructions written? Could it have been an “off the cuff” statement like “dah boy want he hair cutting off” that was eagerly acted on by one of the 32 to heap some more hot water on Broomes? I hope someone who knows the true situation would let the BU family know.

    Is it legal for a teacher to cut off a child’s hair?

    Who held down the boy when his hair was being cut?

    There has to be a lot more to this story than is presently in the public domain.

    I’m looking forward to the gaps on either side being filled in.


  • @ check -it
    Hey ole buddy, good to hear you man.That story was media fodder for sure so just treat it as such.I got a better link for you bro.>>which may save your family and life >>>>check this, you decide.


  • Old Onion Bags;

    Thanks for the link. It is very sobering to think that we are actually in a worst situation than the US re. the oncoming food crisis.


  • Is there a Four cross road near Alexandra? Can somebody work some obeah at the Four Cross to get dat School name outta de public domain? The Broomes saga aint even die die down when this situation about an unwanted hair cut catapult de School name onto the front pages again.

    I swear somebody down dey like dey kill a priest.


  • Bush Bath tomorrowing morning at 2:00 at the four cross roads in Speightstown. Uncle Jeff invited. Anybody who want to help invited too.


  • Something weird seems to be happening here.

    A story breaks, with photographs, of a schoolboy who unwillingly suffered the forcible removal of his “muff” by a teacher. The principal of the school is alleged to have ordered the haircut without the permission of his parents.
    The principal and the teacher would therefore appear, if the story is true, to have committed an illegal offense.

    There is hardly any media outrage. The story dies on the first day it comes out without any explanations.

    Isn’t this strange, especially since the principal is Mr. Broomes and the school is Alexandra school where just over 2 weeks ago there was an intense strike going on and where the teachers and the PM and the teacher’s union should be extremely happy that they might at last have some actionable grounds to have Mr. Broomes separated with dispatch?

    Is there something going on here that seems to be totally outside the realm of normalcy?



  • @Amused, Jeff Cumberbatch or Anonlegal. is “forcible removal of his “muff” by a teacher not a criminal assault on a minor?

    I ent nuh Lawya but someting wrong.


  • there seems to be a deligerate attempt to destabilise the AX school, maybe since no true reason for Mr Broomes “separation” can be found, the powers that be are trying to create another case against Mr Broomes. Let’s look at this sensibly (1) It would be foolhardy on any teacher to carry out such an instruction from the principal unless it is WRITTEN. (2) Since Mr Broomes is being instructed by his attorneys before any decision, it would be unlikely that he wqould have made this request (3) Could this be a set up by those against Mr Broomes continued presence at the school, to try to further discredit the gentleman? At the end of the day, the students and the good name of the school, plus the entire educational system are the biggest losers, and yet they have found nothing against Mr Broomes. When anyone can go to this length to discredit another person, I will advise Mr Broomes to very careful on the job, since the next move maybe, is to expire him. Which principal would be next/ Are we not planting the foundation for anarchy withing the educational system. Incedentally C F many or all secondary schools including H.C have suspended students for gambling, why then condemn Mr Broomes for doing the same. Are you saying it’s O.K to gamble, whether on the school’s compound or not? It seems he’s dammed if he does and dammed if he don’t take action to enforce discipline at school. MAN TO MAN IS SO UNJUST


  • Scout
    You seem to be very selective in your comprehension. I have no problem with a student being suspended for gambling. My concern was simple: why weren’t the students who were found gambling during school hours and on the school compound during the strike not suspended?


  • Is it true that there was gambling by students during the strike? if so, how widespread was it? Was the gambling in the full sight of the depleted members of the teaching staff and visitors? Was (were) the teacher(s) responsible for discipline on strike?

    Stuff happens during an abnormal situation such as a strike. 22 teachers cannot be as efficient in the delivery of discipline as 52. The 30 missing teachers must take their fair share for any deterioration in discipline during the strike.


  • Caswell Caswell Caswell
    You’re being childish, you’re letting your bias run away with you. Obviously, as Check-it pointed out, things were so hectic then at the school, and with limited staff, children would get away with mischief. if you want to blame anyone for the misbehavior during that period, blame those thirty teachers who were on a self-imposed “vacation” and abandoned their charges. Caswell, you’re catching at feathers, please don’t lower yourself to that standard, leave that for others of less understanding.


  • It is known that gambling occurs at many of our schools around Barbados. It is done in broad day light at the UWI. Why split hairs?


  • David
    What are you saying, that Mr Broomes was out of place for suspending the child for gambling? Plus you can’t match UWI with the secondary schools, yes, gambling goes on their and it is not only wrong but illegal, however, we are talking about adults against young children. Incedentally, it is not me who is splitting hairs over the gambling issue, check your good friend “mentor” even, he’s the one who insinuated that gambling is or was rampant at AX during the strike period, and is questioning why Mr Broomes waited to now to suspend someone for the offence. All of you are catching at straws. Admit that P.M tricked BSTU/Mary Redman into returning to school, in my opinion he did a good patch-up job, he got the result he wanted, now it;s up to the BSTU/Mary Redman to bring new charges against Mr Broomes, and this one is so childish, it makes them show how immature the bunch of them are.


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ The Scout | February 11, 2012 at 1:13 PM |
    “Admit that P.M tricked BSTU/Mary Redman into returning to school, in my opinion he did a good patch-up job, he got the result he wanted, now it’s up to the BSTU/Mary Redman to bring new charges against Mr Broomes, and this one is so childish, it makes them show how immature the bunch of them are.”

    Scout, you really know how to tie up loose ends and end up with a true reef knot. FS tricked that pinkie big time. Checkmate, red woman! Game over, start afresh! FS knows you and tricked you big time; n’est-ce pas? The fellas would like to pay out the man but money is scarce these days; so let the man run until retirement night catches up.


  • Is gambling legal in Barbados?


  • millertheanunnaki

    @Hants | February 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM |
    “Is gambling legal in Barbados?”
    Yes but only when the pols can get kickbacks via the granting of licenses or government can get easy tax revenues like the Lotto and scratch cards or even slot machines (aka one-armed bandits). Men throwing dice or playing poker or “tonk” under the tree is still contraband but not in middle-class or upscale houses. What hypocrisy!
    But soon we will see this country selling its soul to the god of gambling.
    No new hotels or upmarket developments unless the rich can spin the wheel of fortune or hold the cards bedecked in their fancy evening wear.


  • Miller,;

    Whoa. There are no facts in the public domain about the hair cutting incident that withstands serious scrutiny. None of it makes sense.

    Jeff Broomes would have had to be an utter idiot and mad, to boot, to have instructed a teacher to cut a student’s hair under any circumstance. He would have had to be raving mad to have done so in his current predicament where the Teachers, the BSTU, some in the MOE and the PM must all be looking for hard evidence to separate him “with dispatch”.

    Any Teacher in the school who carried out such instructions would have also been an idiot and stark raving mad, to boot.

    Has anyone looked seriously at the boy’s story. That story seems to be that a teacher cut his muff off with a scissors totally against his will. Does this seem credible to you? How credible does it appear to you that a teacher could use one hand to operate a scissors and the other to hold a high school student against his will while cutting the hair? Any of you ever tried to comb a small child’s hair against his will?

    Could there be some other more plausible explanation for the boy’s hair being cut?

    That there has been no further revelations so far on this matter suggests to me that we might soon find the Nation Newspaper backing-back on the major aspects of the story.


  • How about we do away with all principals in schools? We’d be able to put the saved salaries back into education, save a fortune in pensions and stop inflating the ego’s of a few people that start to believe that a school is their personal fiefdom which entitles them to some legacy when they leave.

    Let the senior teachers rotate as a system of chairpersons for schools run by a committee of parents and teachers .



  • Checkit_out asked “Any of you ever tried to comb a small child’s hair against his will?”

    Yes and I ALWAYS win.

    No child or teen on earth is a match for a determined adult.

    Adults are larger, stronger, trickier and more experienced.


  • The haircut issue is very real. It did happen and from what his classmates say, they were all appauled by it. You say the principal would have to be mad as well as the teacher that would carry out the instructions, well….it happened, so they are mad then. Just because the info is not out there in the public does not mean it did not happen. That might be the choice of the parents not to put themselves in the limelight any further. I also know that that teacher is known to do some really strange things and the principal does nothing about them. Investigate the facts.


  • Maxine
    While you are there there any truth the teacher and parentboy are related to Jeff Broomes ? This was from an insider.


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