A COUNTY councillor has referred himself to a standards body and quit his deputy opposition leader role days after revealing a school warning notice. 

Conservative Paul Pavia shocked a Monmouthshire Council scrutiny meeting when he questioned the chief officer for children and young people about a warning notice issued to Caldicot Comprehensive.

In an explosive exchange, Will McLean immediately criticised the councillor for revealing the confidential letter. 

Cllr Pavia apologised on Friday for “breaching the confidentiality” of the letter and resigned as deputy leader of the council Tory opposition group.

Councillor Paul Pavia posted his apology on social media
Councillor Paul Pavia posted his apology on social media (Local Democracy)

The Chepstow Mount Pleasant councillor posted on X that he has also referred himself to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, which can sanction councillors if they have broken rules, including the code of conduct. 

Cllr Pavia’s post stated: “I have offered a sincere apology to the Cabinet Member, Chief Officer and Chair of Governors for breaching the confidentiality of the Warning Notice letter issued by MCC to Caldicot School during this week’s Performance & Overview Committee. It was a regrettable lack of judgement. 

“I’ve resigned as opposition deputy leader and have referred myself to the Ombudsman for investigation.

“There was no malicious intent and I remain dedicated to ensure that all our pupils, especially those in our special resource bases, receive the very best education and support.” 

Cllr Pavia revealed the letter – sent last month to Caldicot School outlining concerns at apparent shortcomings with its special unit – as the scrutiny committee discussed a review of the council’s special resource bases, for pupils with additional learning needs. 

Last autumn teachers staged a strike there, as they claimed the leadership had failed to address physical and verbal abuse towards them from pupils. 

It is understood that Conservative opposition leader Cllr Richard John (Mitchel Troy) was angered by the exposure of the confidential letter in a public meeting. 

Cllr Martyn Groucutt (Abergavenny Lansdown), Labour cabinet member for education, defended Mr McLean’s response and said he believed the officer was “terribly upset”, as Cllr Pavia had been responsible for education under the previous administration, and they would have shared confidences. 

The warning notice was a formal process governed by legislation, he added.

Mr McLean told the meeting the council, and the Gwent Education Achievement Service, were working with the school to address the concerns, and the warning notice would have “fallen away”.