Nationwide News understands that the embattled Board of the Cumberland High School in St. Catherine has made a U-turn and decided to recommend that Darien Henry be appointed on a permanent basis as principal of the institution.

The decision was reportedly made during a tense emergency meeting of the Board yesterday afternoon.

The meeting was chaired by Board Chairman, Samuel Chambers.

Marjorie Gordon reports.

It’s understood that during the meeting, the Board accepted that it erred when it had initially recommended that the relative of a senior member of the school’s accounting staff be appointed as principal.

That initial decision was made despite reports that Mr. Henry had the highest score at the end of the interview process.

Our sources say during the emergency Board meeting yesterday, it was decided that a letter is to be sent today to the Education Ministry recommending that Mr. Henry be appointed Principal on a permanent basis.

Board Chairman, Samuel Chambers, told our news centre today that he’d not comment on what transpired at the meeting yesterday.

He also declined to confirm that the Board has reversed its initial decision not to recommend that Mr. Henry be appointed on a permanent basis.

The Cumberland High School Board Chairman told our news centre that he’ll first be communicating the Board’s new decision to the Education Ministry before speaking publicly on the issue.

Mr. Henry has been serving in the post of temporary principal at Cumberland High over the past two years.

He’s credited with beginning the transformation of the once troubled institution.

Controversy was recently stirred in the print and electronic media when it emerged that the Board had decided not to recommend Mr. Henry’s permanent appointment.

Board Chairman Chambers spoke to our news centre in May and denied that nepotism or politics played a role in the Board’s initial, controversial decision.

The issue drew the attention of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to whose office the Education Ministry currently reports.

Prime Minister Holness reportedly wrote a letter to the Board and demanded answers to questions in the public domain about the selection process used by the Cumberland High School board when it recommended the appointment of a Principal.

Nationwide News sources say the Prime Minister’s letter was discussed during yesterday’s tense Board meeting.