A superhead described by Michael Gove, the education secretary, as “magnificent” has been suspended after it emerged that his boyfriend heads a company that provides IT services to his schools. This is from the Sunday Times…
Greg Wallace was suspended as executive principal of a federation of five primary schools in Hackney, east London, last week. The governors of the federation — who include Henry de Zoete, one of Gove’s special advisers — also had their powers suspended.
IT services were supplied to the schools, which were poised to become a chain of academies, by C2 Technology, a firm headed by Tony Zangoura, Wallace’s boyfriend. The news of the suspensions, following an investigation by Hackney council, is a blow to Gove and his flagship academy programme.
In a recent speech Gove lauded Wallace as one of seven “magnificent” head teachers. He said Wallace’s pupils, who come from the poorest parts of the borough, had benefited “from a rigorous approach to reading in the early years that makes them enthusiastic devourers of every book they can get their hands on”.
The schools have appealed to Gove to step in amid claims that Wallace’s suspension may be an attempt by the council to prevent the schools becoming academies. In an email to school staff Zangoura accuses the Hackney Learning Trust, responsible for the day-to-day running of the borough’s schools, of “going on a fishing expedition within the schools to find dirt”.
He insists he and Wallace were not together in 2009 when the IT contract was awarded. “They identified that my company, C2 Technology, was given the vast majority of ICT work and, given the well-known fact that I have a close relationship with Greg, thought there might be a vulnerability there,” he said…
Peter Passam, acting chair of the federation governing body, said: “Greg Wallace was always open with me about his connection with C2 Technology.
“The contract was judged on its value and its quality. We have been very satisfied with the work that has given the children access to modern technology at a competitive price.”
The Department for Education said it could not comment while the investigation was going on. It noted that any decision to intervene would be taken by a minister other than Gove.
Obviously this is under investigation and we don’t know the full facts but if the chair of the GB knew of the connection and the tender was reviewed on its merits is this a possible over-reaction or, as the article hints, a politically motivated move? Please share in the comments or on twitter…