A Valletta-based Church school has insisted that its decision to fire its headmaster was not related to his policies pushing for more inclusive education.

St Albert the Great college said that Mario Mallia had been sacked because he refused to abide by the statute regulating the college and took decisions without obtaining approval for them from the college’s board.

Mallia, who is also active in local politics through his involvement in green party ADPD, said on Tuesday that he had been accused of “aggravated insubordination” and fired. He cited examples of inclusivity initiatives that he had taken at the Catholic school which he said were not well-received by school management.

News of Mallia’s sacking prompted an outpouring of anger on Tuesday, with the Malta Union of Teachers on Wednesday declaring an industrial dispute with regard to the Dominican Order that runs the College and the Secretariat for Catholic Education.

“We have completely lost faith in the board and the rector and will not work with them. They are no longer fit for purpose and must resign,” union president Marco Bonnici said on Wednesday morning.

In a right of reply sent to Times of Malta, the college said that Mallia’s sacking had “absolutely nothing to do with his beliefs or policies of inclusion implemented at the college” and was instead linked to his refusal to abide by the college’s regulatory statute.

That statute, the college said, clearly noted that financial and other matters related to running the college must be approved by the college board first.

“There were numerous instances were decisions which had or could potentially have a financial effect on the college and/or which involved the running of the college were taken by Mr Mallia without due authorisation of the College Board as required by Statute,” the school said.

“Duly warned, Mr Mallia even refused to recognise the superior authority of the college board as determined via the statute itself which regulates the running of the college and evidently continues to reject such authority even now as transpires from the said article. 

“Regrettably but justifiably, the board determined that it could no longer work with a headmaster who refuses to abide with the conditions of the statute which regulates the running of the college which he is supposed to head and who chooses instead to operate unilaterally and without any accountability.

"The board of St Albert the Great College has always had at heart all policies aimed at improving the lives of its students, their families and its educators alike, including policies of inclusivity which it has always embraced and which it will continue to push forward in the years to come with the same vision and perseverance.”

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