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Why was the school betrayed?

Sir Andrew Cubie

Sir Andrew Cubie

The Chairman of the Board of Governors had one principal role; to protect the interests of the school and the children and young people it served.

In this, Sir Andrew Cubie so obviously, and tragically, failed.

A large number of questions remain about his actions in the days leading-up to closure:

  1. Why did he suspend the Head of School when it was already known at the time that no wrongdoing had taken place?

  2. Why did he accuse the school of failing to report a child protection matter to the authorities when he already knew that there was no child protection matter to report?

  3. Why did he accuse the Head of failing to report a child protection matter to the Board of Governors when there was no child protection matter to report?

  4. Why did he suspend the Head of School but not the Head of Care when the (correct) decision that they made was a joint one?

  5. Why did he make critical decisons relating to child protection and safeguarding matters when he he was not qualified to do so?

  6. Why did he not challenge the Improvement Notice issued by the Care Inspectorate when it was clearly ‘incompetent?

  7. Why did he not challenge the assertion made by the Registrar of Independent Schools that there had been 2 sets of failings, when there had been none?

  8. Why did he not consult SCIS, or other professionals with expertise before making such important decisions?

  9. Why did he state to parents that, “these matters cannot be simply swept under the carpet” when there had clearly been no attempt to do so?

  10. Why did he state to parents that there had been a child protection investigation but not that the outcome had cleared the school of wrongdoing?

  11. Why did he attempt to blame school managers for the closure of the school by stating that the school had, “shot ifself in the foot again” when there had been no failings on either occasion?

  12. Why did he and his colleages fail to establish a clear reporting protocol for school managers during the transition to Witherslack control?

  13. Why were school managers not given a copy of the management agreement signed with Witherslack in August 2018?

  14. Why did he agree to close the school in 5 days when it was clear that this would do great harm to children and young people?

  15. Why did he not seek alternative providers rather than close the school once Witherslack had stated that they were withdrawing from the takeover agreement?

  16. Why did he allow Witherslack to undertake a ‘safeguarding review’ AFTER they had announced that they were pulling out?

  17. Why did he state that the Board was not competent to challenge the fake Tennant report when it was their principle role to ensure that children and young people were kept safe at the school?

  18. Why did he state that the school was closing for financial reasons when it made no financial sense to do so within 5 days?

  19. Why did he permit external professionals with no expertise in residential care to oversee the closure of the school in the final week?

  20. Why did he not contact the school during the final week, at a point when he and the board were still responsibile (according to Education Scotland) to prevent the appalling cruelty that was taking place?

  21. Why did he agree to close the school in 5 days when it would cost loyal staff thousand of pounds of their notice pay?

  22. Why during his chairmanship of the school did pupil numbers fall so dramatically?

  23. Why did he fail to provide the management support needed to the school following the February 2017 tragedy?

  24. Why was there no business strategy in place at the school when the new Head took over in April 2018?

  25. Why was there no marketing plan at this time?

Why did Sir Andrew Cubie abandon the Head of Care and Head of School? Why did he fail to protect them from the dishonesty and incompetence of those who wished to close the school down?

Why has the Board made no public statement in support of school staff?

Why has the Board simply walked away and abandoned 24 families and 51 members of staff?

Was Sir Andrew Cubie naive, gullible, and incompetent, or does something more sinister lie behind the betrayal of the school?

Bill Colley