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Council officers tried to smear Head of School


Further scrutiny of FOI documentation has revealed that there was a concerted effort by PKC officers to spread false information about the school to discredit the Head and other members of staff.

Sheena Devlin (Executive Director) urged journalists to report that there has been, “serious child protection concerns” at the school at a time when it was already clear that there had been none. She demanded in emails we have recovered that they correct the impression given in later reports that the Head had been suspended on allegations of a very minor offence (which were proved to be unfounded), and also that the Head of School be reported to the regulators even though he had done nothing wrong.

Sandra Wright of the Care Inspectorate finally reported him to the GTCS (and the Head of care to the SSSC) in November 2018 when the Board of Governors refused to, even though she knew at that time that there had been no wrongdoing, that the Head had been correct in his decision-making, and that pupils felt very happy and safe in school.

Officers also informed their elected members that, “there is an ongoing police investigation” and that, “more serious issues will emerge”, when no such investigations were taking place.

Susie Turner, Inclusion Manager, is alleged to have told parents that their children could not be supported by TNS staff because the authority regarded them as, “not safe”.

All of this suggests that council officers were deliberately abusing their positions of power to discredit the school.

The statements above are now being examined by lawers acting on behalf of school staff.

Staff have pointed to the irony of council officers who were responsible for so much harm to children in the final week of term, casting aspersions against those who did their utmost to try to protect them. The cruelty that took place then, when key decisons were made by council officers rather than respected school managers, is currently under investigation by the Children’s Commissioner.

Bill Colley