Saturday 30 September 2023
Select a region

Top Education job puts Gov recruitment in spotlight again

Top Education job puts Gov recruitment in spotlight again

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Top Education job puts Gov recruitment in spotlight again

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Recruitment processes for the top jobs in Government are under the spotlight again after it emerged that the former Managing Director of the General Hospital faced no competition for the permanent role of Chief Officer of Children, Young People, Education and Skills.

Rob Sainsbury was recruited to the CYPES Chief Officer role – formerly known as ‘Director General – in an acting capacity in October 2021 after Mark Rogers stepped down.

Mr Sainsbury was due to hold the temporary role for nine months before a permanent department head was recruited, but was not confirmed in the role until December 2022.

At the time, Express asked about the cause of the delay in making a permanent appointment, where the role was advertised and how many people had applied and been interviewed for the role, as well as if Mr Sainsbury's salary would be changing, but did not receive a response from Government.


Pictured: Rob Sainsbury was acting-up as the Interim Director General of CYPES at the time of his appointment to the permanent role.

Following a request made to Government under the Freedom of Information Law, it has now been revealed that there was no advertising or recruitment process for the permanent role.

The response explained that the Interim role to replace Mark Rogers was only advertised internally, and that six candidates – all of whom were Jersey residents – applied. Five were selected to "undertake psychometric tests" and attend a "full panel interview", before Mr Sainsbury was "deemed the appointable candidate into the Acting up (Interim) position".

This assessment was “based on the core skills, attributes and behaviours associated with appointment to a director and the same criteria was applied to all applicants and scored by the panel accordingly".  

However, the permanent role “was not advertised” internally or externally.

The response said that it was decided that Mr Sainsbury’s capability and performance would instead be reviewed as “part of a policy to build internal and island skills and succession planning.” 

This approach was said to have been “agreed with the Jersey Appointments Commission”

It comes as questions are once again being raised regarding  Government hiring processes, after it emerged that a recent senior appointment was not advertised.

Health 'fixer' Chris Bown was appointed as Interim Chief Officer on a 12-month fixed-term contract on 1 April following the sudden resignation of Caroline Landon.

Chris Brown

Pictured: Chris Bown officially became Chief Officer of Health and Community services on 1 April on a 12-month fixed-term contract.

Mr Bown was initially brought to the island three months earlier to lead a 'Change Team' recruited to drive improvements in Health at a cost of £200,000 per quarter.

Constable Andy Jehan, Vice-Chair of the States Employment Board, said that the lack of advertising for the role was necessary "on an exceptional basis" due to the sudden departure of the department's most senior civil servant.

However, Deputy Rob Ward, Chair of the Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel, warned that "exceptional can become habitual if we are not careful" and added that the reasons for the exceptional appointment needed to be made "very clear".

Rob Ward.jpg

Pictured: Deputy Rob Ward, Chair of the Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel.

"This is particularly important for a government who promised openness and transparency before being elected; now they have to live up to that," added the Reform Jersey Deputy.

The Health Scrutiny Chair stressed that the criticism is "nothing personal" against any individual, and said that "it gives people authority in their position if it is known that they went through a thorough recruitment process".

It also recently emerged that the role taken by Principal Expert Adviser Alan Moore – who had previously carried out work for Government and whose report on the £800m Our Hospital project led to its scrapping – was not advertised externally. 

Mr Moore was selected from a list of potential advisers drawn up by Government, which included a number of individuals identified through research, and small group who had contacted Government directly.

Eyebrows were also raised over the appointment of Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor to lead a board that his own damning report about the Health service had recommended improving.

Sign up to newsletter



Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

Posted by John Henwood on
It is easy to perceive that the States Appointments Commission is turning into a government poodle. Perhaps this is not surprising, the chairman, Chris Stephenson appointed by the Chief Minister last September, was formerly a senior figure in the government's HR department. The Commission, which has appeared more concerned with procedure than getting the right outcome, seems to waive the rules when it comes to senior public appointments.
Posted by Jean Lelliott on
Mr Sainsbury has no experience in education and yet the Government refuse to declare whether the other candidates dud. I’m sure many of them had such experience. Apparently we are not allowed to know whether a person has the suitable experience for a role as it is personal information. What a nonsense, this is taxpayers money and we have every right to insist that the right person has the job, not just moving people around to suit the civil service. I hope that Scrutiny take this up and question this appointment.
Posted by Aston Francis on
Rob Sainsbury is an experienced nurse and NHS manager brought in by Charlie Parker. It doesn’t seem he has any education experience other than that of his own while at school. The interim recruitment process should not be deemed ‘open’ if such prominent role was only internally advertised.
To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?