Education boss denies Trad had say on principal
DEPUTY Premier Jackie Trad met with the frontrunner for the principal's job at a new high school being built in her electorate before a job offer was made, according to the Education Department.
Education Department Director-General Tony Cook issued a statement this morning outlining the selection process for the principal of the Inner City South State Secondary College.
He said a five-person selection panel had established Tracey Cook as a frontrunner for the position, before Ms Trad met with her, but Ms Cook was never formally appointed to the job.
"An order of merit was established through the initial recruitment process and the Department of Education initiated a meeting with the Deputy Premier which involved an informal discussion of approximately 15 minutes with the highest ranked candidate," Mr Cook said.
"I have been advised that while the panel had signed off on the appointment, new demographic modelling indicated the school would exceed 1600 students and be eligible for an executive principal position.
"Therefore no offer of appointment was made.
"Based on departmental advice indicating the ICSSSC would be eligible for an executive principal position, I approved the role's reclassification at this higher level of remuneration.
"I have been advised that at no time did the Deputy Premier seek to involve herself in the selection decision making."
He said the role, first advertised in January, was readvertised in May with the same selection panel, with an offer of appointment made to Kirsten Ferdinands following the second recruitment process.
"I have been advised that all candidates from the original recruitment process were invited to reapply for the executive principal position," he said.
"The panel chair is responsible for the conduct of the recruitment and selection process and whether or not an appointment is made from the process."
Ms Ferdinands appeared in an online video with Ms Trad and Education Minister Grace Grace posted on Facebook in September by Ms Trad.
The video - which carries a Labor Party logo - introduces Ms Ferdinands and celebrates the building of the new school.
Ms Trad and Ms Grace have today come under fire over the logo.
At the end of the video, a Queensland Labor logo pops up stating "Share the good news".
In a question to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this morning, LNP education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie asked, "How could Queenslanders have confidence in the independent selection of school principal, when the Government is applying Labor Party branding to principal announcements?"
The Premier said she hadn't seen the video but would have a look and report back to the House.
"I have two words for the Member for Kawana, Tim Carmody," she said.