Dr Edmond Heatley
Dr Edmond Heatley

A union says concerns of residents over Dr Edmond Heatley as Commissioner of Education  “are warranted”.

Late Friday night the Bermuda Public Services Union sent general secretary Ed Ball added “It may be foolhardy for the Minister to ignore the demand for a Bermudian to be the next Commissioner of Education."

Dr Heatley was introduced this week by Education Minister Nalton Brangman.

A press release by Mr Ball stated: “The Union is acutely aware of the negative blogs on Google and locally as they pertain” to Dr Heatley who held positions as superintendent in California and Georgia.

Mr Ball added: “The concerns of the Bermuda public are warranted. As a condition of Dr Heatley’s employment, he will be on probation for six months. During this period if either party determines that the employment relationship is not a best fit, the employment contract can be terminated.”

Mr Ball said the education system in Bermuda has had challenges for many years  in attempts to raise academic standards. “There have been improvements but more needs to be done. Equally, the major debate continues on finding suitably qualified Bermudians to lead the reform of Bermuda’s education system.

“Senior officers employed by the Ministry of Education must be identified and offered overseas assignments to countries with proven records of academic excellence like Finland, Norway and the like as part of an implemented succession plan. “We cannot go beyond the three-year contract offered to Dr Heatley without identifying a group of Bermudians that have all the criteria to do the job to the satisfaction of the Public Service Commission.”