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Out of adversity...

For all that was said about the school as the furore erupted in November 2018, not one parent turned against the staff.

Not one member of staff turned against the managers.

On 17th December, TNS parents organised a meeting at the school. The Head of School lit the stove and made the refreshments.

Heavy snow was falling but huge numbers turned up, and they came from across Scotland. Some travelled for hours.

Parents sat down next to the same care staff who had been accused of failing their children. The Head of School and Head of Care sat amongst them despite the fact that they had been held responsible for “failing to report a child protection matter” and thus causing the school to close.

The mood was sombre but defiant. A quiet outrage at what had happened.

The parent who had organised the meeting stood and spoke solemnly about what needed to be done. And then stated that it was for others to take the campaign forward.

At that time there were no names nor any indication that the fight for justice would or could be moved on.

Everything about the meeting captured what TNS was about. No airs and graces. No professional arrogance. All that was said and done was founded on mutual respect.

That has continued to this day, and that is why we are still here.

That is what those who did so much to harm the school did not understand.

School communities are not built on systems and processes but on relationships. Relationships are built on trust.

Lie once to a parent and you will lose their respect for good.

Something that the regulators and the Scottish Government should consider as they ponder how they lost control of what is now unfolding.

TNS may be dead, but the community is still strong, and seeking answers as to how it could so easily be destroyed.

December 17th 2018.

Bill Colley