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Summary

We thought it important to publish a summary of what we believe happened to the school.

  • February 2017. Pupil X takes his own life 3 days after being informed by Dorothy Henderson of PKC that they would not fund his final year at the school

  • PKC begin campaign of hostility agaist the school led by Dorothy Henderson and Susie Turner

  • September 2017. Susie Turner raises ‘concerns about the school in multi-agency meeting.

  • PKC lose tribunal case

  • PKC try to block placement of another pupil who has been out of school for years

  • Complaint of hostile and aggressive behaviour against TNS staff by PKC officer upheld

  • Head of School insists that all meetings with PKC are audio-taped because of their “dishonesty”

  • January 2018. PKC lodge letter of concern with Registrar of Indpendent Schools but do not notify Board of Governors. State that there have been child protection failings - shown to be untrue

  • PKC report Head of Care to SSSC over allegation - shown to be untrue

  • February 2018. School counters all the concerns raised and raises issues about PKC safeguarding

  • Repeated attempts made by TNS staff to discover outcome of PKC investigation into ‘allegation’. PKC officers refuse to answer

  • Head of School demands answers - told that there are “no concerns” 7 months after investigation begins (and concludes)

  • May 2018. Unannounced inspections by Education Scotland and Care Inspectorate.

  • New Head of School describes findings as “bizarre” and “not credible”. States that there is clearly a campaign against the school by PKC, ES and Care Inspectorate

  • ES report alleges “serious failings” without providing evidence. Shown to be untrue.

  • CI report considered by managers to have been fabricated to destroy reptation of the school. Board consider judicial review.

  • Head of School approaches Witherslack for support

  • Witherslack provided with full disclosure of hostile actions of PKC. WG claim that they “can do dirty too”.

  • Sept/Nov. Minor allegation from unreliable staff member converted into a child protection concern

  • 2 staff suspended pending investigation

  • Investigation concludes that no wrongdoing has taken place, that there are no child protection matters, and that there were no allegations. Staff should return to work.

  • Care Inspectorate state that staff should not return to work

  • Care Inspectorate announce that they are taking enforcement action

  • Scottish Ministers announce that they are taking enforcement action

  • Witherslack state that they are “very scared”

  • Witherslack announce that they are pulling-out of takeover

  • Board persuaded to commission Witherslack to conduct internal investigation against advice of Head of School

  • Head of School suspended

  • Howard Tennant of Witherslack produces fake report. TNS managers not permitted to challenge dishonest statements and errors.

  • December 2018. Board announce closure on “financial grounds”. Staff/parents do not believe this to be true.

  • Staff/parents call for investigation.

  • PKC brief press, councillors and employees that there have been serious child protection concerns

  • John Swinney references “serious child protection concerns” to parents and press

  • January 2019. PKC, Care Inspectorate, John Swinney begin to distance themselves from earlier statements.

  • Tree House announce future release of documentary about closure

  • TNS website set up

  • Head of School interview released

  • John Swinney provided £150,000 to PKC for pupils still out of school. I pupil attends expensive new provision for 2 hours per day on a temporary basis.

  • Registrar of Independent Schools refuses to answer questions about her statement that there had been 2 sets of failings at the school

  • Care Inspectorate refuse to justify the enforcement action they took

  • John Swinney states that most children felt “very happy and safe at the school”

  • May 2019. Staff/parents call for full independent investigation.

TNS is the first school to be forced into closure as the result of something that did not happen and was known not to have happened.

It was closed because it was financially inconvenient and exposed huge deficiencies in PKC provision.

PKC, Education Scotland and the Care Inspectorate all acted unlawfully.

This was a carefully orchestrated campaign designed to close the school and cause maximum reputational damage to those involved (who had done no wrong). Substantial documentary evidence has been compiled to show that TNS was treated to a level of hostile scrutiny that no other service has ever been subjected to.

The weakness of the Board of Governors was a major factor in the closure of the school. Innocent staff, pupils and their families were sacrificed by the Board.

56 days after demanding an investigation, John Swinney has yet to provide an answer.

Staff take legal action.

Bill Colley