Labor accused him of obtaining his policy advisor’s (senior executive grade one) job without it ever being advertised, reports ScreenHub.

“His boss, infamous NSW Education Minister Terry Metherell, brought down the Greiner government with his scandalous transfer to the Senior Executive of the Public Service (again, the job wasn’t advertised).”

Here is an excerpt from the NSW parliamentary Hansard of 18 October 1995, which “puts a very different spin on the success of the golden boy”:

The Hon. JAN BURNSWOODS: I can show the Hon.
Patricia Forsythe the sentences in the editorial and in the articles.
She should read them and look at the map showing the parts of Sydney
that allegedly produce certain sorts of results. She should then look
at the apology which was published when the map was reprinted. Mark
Scott is a fine one to talk. He is the son of the infamous Brian Scott,
who, seven years ago, assisted Terry Metherell to virtually destroy the
public education system in New South Wales. Mark Scott, the son of
Brian, was employed as policy adviser to Terry Metherell. In fact, both
Mark and Brian Scott were on the public payroll assisting Terry
Metherell. One of the many scandals in that period in the Department of
Education and Youth Affairs was that Mark Scott had been given a senior
executive service grade 1 job that had not been advertised, a job that
was no longer a ministerial job but was a job in the ministry – in
other words, a public service job.

Mark Scott, who might be slightly brighter than Terry, saw the writing on the wall and went off to Harvard a short time before Terry Metherell’s unlamented departure from education. In due course he returned and was appointed education editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. Since his appointment as the education editor of the Sydney Morning Herald the education coverage, which has never been particularly good, has gone downhill. Mark Scott has done little other than to encourage the rhetoric of choice.

North Shore members such as the Hon. Patricia Forsythe might not be aware of the role he played in the closure of fine schools like Balmoral, Castlecrag, Milsons Point and many others. This same man strongly supported the closure of all those schools in 1989-90. Mark Scott worked in the education area, first assisting Terry Metherell. He now attempts to influence opinion from the pages of The Sydney Morning Herald. He should be ashamed of himself!

After the Greiner government came to power in 1988, Education Minister Terry Metherell appointed Mark Scott’s father, Brian, management consultant in the corporate sector, as a one-man committee of review, notes ScreenHub. He produced a 40-page briefing paper, Schools Renewal, recommending the radical reform of management in school education over the next five years. While the recommendations were modified, the Scott plan was “at the heart of a battle between the government, teachers and some sectors of the community that rolled on for the next four years”.

As far as I can tell, says ScreenHub editor David Tiley on his blog Barista,”it centred on the sacking of teachers, the devolution of employment responsibility and budget management to schools, and the centralisation of power over syllabi to the minister. It sounds a lot like the Kennett government a couple of years later.”

How much of this involved Mark Scott, asks Tiley? “Did he play a powerful role? Were the jobs of father and son really unfairly obtained? Did Scott run a hard line right wing position on education from the SMH? I’d love to know.”

 

I subscribe to Crikey because I believe in a free, open and independent media where news and opinions can be published that I can both agree with and be challenged by.

As a Crikey subscriber I always feel more informed and able to think more critically about issues and current affairs – even when they don’t always reflect my own political viewpoint or lived experience.

Jess
Singapore

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