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Meeting with the Education Minister

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Deputy First Minister John Swinney has agreed to meet with representatives of the parent and staff groups on 1st May at the Scottish Parliament.

Demands will be made for a full independent investigation into the circumstances which led to the closure of the school and for clarity on his own actions in November 2018 when he stated to parents and to the press that there had been, “serious child protection issues”.

GIven that Mr Swinney made it a, “top priority” to ensure that all pupils were found alternative placements, the groups will also ask why it is that so few are now back in education, 5 months after the school closed.

In addition, they will alert Mr Swinney to the high level of concern that all involved with the school have about the professionalism and integrity of the regulators and of officers of Perth & Kinross Council, and about the misleading statements that were made by these organisations at the time of closure.

The group will also raise their concerns about the level of cruelty shown towards children and young people during the final week, when key decisions were made not by experienced school managers, but by the regulators and PKC officers.

Given that TNS is the first school to be closed in Scotland on the basis of something that did not happen and was known not to have happened, it is vital for essential services operating with complex and vulnerable young people to have confidence in the regulatory system.

The TNS debacle has raised concerns that are of national interest and it is vital that an independent investigation is now established to explain why a happy and successful school was so brutally destroyed.

Bill Colley