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Over the Hill and far away

Rodger Hill, author of the yet-to-be examined January complaint to the Registrar of Independent Schools, has left PKC just 2 years after joining the authority as Head of Secondary and Inclusion.

The letter raised a number of ‘concerns’ and opened the door to an unannounced inspection, and the opportunity for the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland to produce 2 fake inspection reports and to begin the process by which PKC could rid themselves of the financial inconvenience of having a successful special school on their doorstep, and the embarassment of their own role in the February 2017 tragedy.

It was all very crude and transparent, but ultimately effective.

The concerns were not raised with the school or with the Board of Governors because Mr Hill and his colleagues wanted to inflict as much reputational damage as possible on the school to destroy its recovery from the trauma of that awful event.

It was Mr Hill who contacted the the Head by phone to state that a complaint had been lodged but that he was not going to tell him what is was all about.

When the content of the letter was revealed, school managers were quick to realise that the claims were dishonest, easy to demonstrate as unfounded, and clearly malicious. What they did not realise at the time was that the whole campaign was coordinated with the regulators and that they were up against not only the sheer nastiness of an authority in crisis, but their colleagues in the regulatory authorities who were working with PKC to rid Scotland of a provision that addressed the needs of those failed by the Government’s disastrous ‘mainstreaming’ policy.

Few tears will be shed for Mr Hill.

He presided over of of the most inhuman and cruel episodes in PKC history.

He failed to reign-in his education officers or to demonstrate anything resembling leadership as they embarked on 18 months of bullying and deceit from February 2017 to the closure of the school in November 2018.

He was ultimately responsible for every lie his officers told.

He was responsible for the catastrophic final 4 days when his officers ‘controlled’ the school and demonstrated why PKC is failing so badly to meet the needs of pupils with ASN. Their lack of understanding, inability to form relationships, poor communication, lack of strategy and direction, and disregard for pupils, parents and staff was plain for all to see.

Mr Hill then had the wonderful opportunity to put in place a provision for pupils displaced by the brutal closure financed by £150,00 of ‘blood money’ from the Scottish Government, and succeeded in doing so for one young person out of 13 for a mere 2 hours a day on a temporary basis.

It was an unmitigated disaster.

PKC fought hard to prevent a new service arising from the ashes of TNS, and failed. Once again, there was no leadership, his officers who had lied over the previous months were incapable of building trusting relationships with parents and carers, and the whole scheme collapsed as an expensive failure.

And then suddenly, he has gone.

Not to some glittering promotion or an equivalent job in a more prestigious local authority, but to a lesser role as an education officer rather than Head of Department.

Few will mourn his passing.

Will others now follow?

Bill Colley