Premier Jay Weatherill has thrown his firm support behind the head of the South Australian Education Department after Tony Harrison was heavily criticised by one of his department's former executives.
Mr Weatherill dismissed comments made by Jan Andrews that she had been made a scapegoat for the department's child protection failings.
Ms Andrews did not hold back when she gave evidence to a Legislative Council committee last Friday about her contract not being renewed.
"I believe the evidence shows that I have been scapegoated in the most blatant way in the interest in a show of leadership and a public story," she told the parliamentary inquiry.
Ms Andrews' contract was not renewed as the new Education Department CEO Mr Harrison dealt with the criticisms levelled by the Debelle Royal Commission.
Mr Weatherill said the reasons why Ms Andrews was let go were a matter for Mr Harrison but he thought the right decision had been made.
"I support him, he's a strong leader and I'm right behind him," he told reporters.
Ms Andrews was the executive who emailed the Premier's office about a school sex abuse case in 2010.
She told the committee responsibility for dealing with the matter was then shifted from her.
"It really now is up to Mr Harrison or Mr Weatherill or indeed some of the staffers to provide evidence to the committee to indicate whether or not they can give conflicting evidence," she said.
The Premier was dismissive of Ms Andrews' claims.
"If she didn't say these things to Mr Debelle then why is she saying them now?" he asked.
"If she did tell these things to Mr Debelle then he's clearly rejected them because they don't find any reference in the Royal Commission's findings."
The Premier has told three political advisers not to give evidence to the Legislative Council committee but says they will do so if compelled.
Opposition frontbencher Rob Lucas is keen to see the staffers face questions.
"Why shouldn't people who might have information of use to a committee come and answer questions about child protection issues in government schools in South Australia?," he asked.
The parliamentary committee is expected to issue an order this week compelling the three staffers to appear.
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