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Cock-up or Conspiracy (or both?)

Further evidence has emerged today that there were no failures in school to follow child protection guidelines.

The Scottish Social Services Council investigated a complaint made against the school by PKC in January 2018 and found that “procedures appear to have been followed at all times”. This contradicts the statement made by PKC to one of the parents involved who had been told that the school had, “not followed its own guidelines”. The PKC statement is not only incorrect but defamatory to the Head of School (Chris Holmes), and Head of Care who acted professionally throughout.

There has been no apology. PKC failed to copy the letter to the school.

The SSSC confirmed that there had been no attempt by the school to conduct an internal investigation - which would have been contrary to the correct procedures.

With respect to the same issue, the school raised concerns with CI about the failure of PKC to follow national child protection guidelines but were told that this is something that they would have to raise with the council. This might explain why the school was so reluctant to engage with “offers of training and support” from PKC and preferred instead to use other providers (such as the NSPCC).

It is also clear that the school made several attempts to determine the outcome of the PKC investigation into the matter raised but received no responses until the new Head of School was finally forced to write to Jacquie Pepper demonstrating the distress caused to the parents involved and the difficulties the school had in determining what support should be put in place.

Jacquie Pepper failed to respond to that letter.

A second attempt was made 5 weeks later and the school were informed that there were, “no concerns” for the pupils. The school was told that it was their responsibility to inform the parents even though 6 months had now elapsed since the issue was raised.

The statement also contradicts the highly unprofessional judgement of the educational psychologist who stated that she believed that something had happened. This demonstrated a clear failure by the EP to follow child protection guidleines in that disclosures should not be pre-judged wthout proper investigative procedures.

At this stage, the school lost confidence in the capacity of PKC to follow national child protection guidelines.

This also raises important questions about the assertions made by the Registrar of Independent Schools that there had been a “failure” pre-dating the false accusations made in September 2018 by a disgruntled member of staff. Her failure to specify any failure now discredits the office she holds.

Cock-up or conspiracy???

Bill Colley