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It simply beggars belief 04/09/2019

We were working late last night. Here are the latest updates;

School forced to report staff concern as an ‘allegation’

It has been revealed that Angie Gordon was forced by the Care Inspectorate to report the concern raised by a staff member as an ‘allegation’, despite the fact that the police had already indicated that, “there had been no allegations” and the matter simply related to working practice (and was therefore not reportable).Thankfully, she indicated that she had been ‘coerced’ into taking this action so that can now be used as evidence when an independent investigation takes place.

First opportunity school managers had to explain critical decision was after the school had closed

Bill and Angie took the correct decision on September 24th 2018 when they read a note from a staff member. That has been demonstrated by 2 investigations. However, the first opportunity they had to explain their actions was after the school had closed in December. In other words, the Care Inspectorate took the action which caused Witherslack to withdraw and John Swinney to impose conditions before finding-out what that note had said, and why the (correct) decisions were made.

Two Board members were lawyers

Despite the fact that both Andrew Cubie and Joyce Cullen are lawyers, neither advised their colleagues that proper procedures should be followed, natural justice served, or that the actions of the Care Inspectorate were illegal. Questions are now being raised about the competence of the Board and the degree to which all members were properly informed at the time. All stand liable to action against them if negligence or defamation can be demonstrated.

Most worrying of all is that critical decisions were made without any reference to evidence. The only evidence relevant when considering Bill and Angie’s actions is the original note from the staff member, which has not been seen by the Care Inspectorate, Registrar of Independent Schools, John Swinney, Education Scotland and only by the Board after the school had closed. Not one of these organisations or individuals asked to see the note before making what we now now were false and highly damaging statements to the press, to parents, and to staff.

It is surely a basic principle of the judicial system that judgements should be evidence-based and also that anyone accused of an offence should have the right to respond.

Care Inspectorate hamper staff efforts to clear their names

Sandra Wright of the Care Inspectorte reported Bill and Angie to their professional organisations on 28th November, after it had been shown that there had been no wrongdoing at the school.

Repeated efforts by the SSSC to investigate Angie’s actions have been hampered by the Care Inspectorate failing to respond to requests for information. When the CI did submit ‘evidence’ recently, it was deemed by the SSSC to be irrelevant to the case.

The Care Inspectorate are stalling because when Bill and Angie are both cleared, it will demonstrate once and for all that the CI acted illegally, irresponsibly, disproportionately, and dishonestly, and that the school should never have been forced into closure.

Staff not permitted to see Witherslack report before it was released to regulators and Perth & Kinross Council

The Board denied Bill, Angie, or any other member of staff the opportunity to counter the absurd claims made by Witherslack in their now discredited ‘safeguarding report’ before releasing it to PKC, Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland.

The Care Inspectorate acted unlawfully (see Public Authorities and the LAW)

All of this points to catastrophic mismanagement by the Care Inspectorate and Board of Governors and a failure to meet their prime responsibilities in terms of duty of care to the pupils in the school and to the staff.

Bill Colley