Just words

Analysis

Education Scotland Complaint

 Following a formal complaint submitted by the Head of School to Education Scotland in March 2019 we can provide the following documentation;

  1. The initial complaint submitted by the Head of School

  2. The Education Scotland response

  3. Analysis of the ES response

Summary

  • Education Scotland were unable to identify any ‘failings’, ‘safeguarding concerns’, or other issues that could justify the imposition of conditions of the school, or the issuing of an Improvement Notice by the Care Inspectorate

  • ES refuse to discuss the unprofessional behaviour of the link officer during the May 2018 inspection

  • The inspection rating given for child protection and safeguarding in the May 2018 inspection was the result of a bureaucratic oversight following the February 2017 tragedy and not because pupils were in any way unsafe

  • ES refuse to comment on the failure of the link officer to provide advice to the school in relation to child protection paperwork following the 2017 tragedy.

  • ES refuse to accept responsibility for the failure of their personnel to protect pupils during the final week when they were present in school

  • ES state that they provided support to staff during this time when they clearly did not

  • ES fail to identify any weaknesses in leadership at the school which could cause them to criticise the Head of School during his absence, or any other member of the senior management team

  • ES state that it was the Chairman of Governors who agreed that their had been a failure to report a child protection matter, despite the fact that he knew at the time that this was untrue, and when he was unqualified to comment on child protection matters

Conclusion

To date, neither the Registrar of Independent Schools nor Education Scotland have been able to produce one piece of evidence to suggest that the school was failing in any way.

Comments from school staff:

“There is a basic failure here to understand what a complaints procedure is or is for… If this were Vodaphone then I might change my phone provider – sadly I can’t change my national education regulator!”

“Once again the investigator has entirely failed to deal with the complaint. This is a classic ‘straw man’ response – rather than deal with the complaint that has been made made the investigator has dealt with a completely different one – that there was not enough engagement with the link inspector… Your complaint is that the inspector has not done an adequate job, thus leaving our school exposed to the malicious downgrading of the care grades by the CI. Utterly hopeless!”

“These mealy-mouthed words from the investigator are blatantly insufficient – to the point of being unprofessional. If it is the case that ES are guilty of misrepresenting a school to the Scottish Government then that is a very serious matter. If that school then closes with kids left dangling and 51 jobs lost then it is a very serious matter indeed. If ES were misinformed by the BoG then the BoG were in turn misinformed by another Government Agency – any responsible investigator should be vigorously chasing this matter to the ground, not defensively shrugging their shoulders as ES do here! That they say they were misled by the governors and choose to leave it there rather than asking the next question is actually breathtaking. The logic is similar to above – ‘wait until you arrive at a fact which doesn’t cause damage to our organisation and then walk away’. They are letting themselves, and us, down badly!”

“This is so riddled with inaccuracies and mistruths that I almost don’t know where to start. Others will probably be better able to parse this utter crock than I. I do know that ES did not ‘support staff’ during the last week. On the contrary they did whatever they could to make themselves unavailable to staff – to the point of open and utter contempt. The investigator says “At no time did HM Inspectors prevent school staff the opportunity to work with and/or support young people”. This is flatly wrong. ES undermined the planning for individual pupils, cut short their school time and therefore did precisely that! That an investigator feels it is acceptable to write “They provided advice and support to school staff throughout the week. Both inspectors were sensitive to the needs of young people and their families” when they know that precisely the opposite is the case simply beggars belief. To say “staff were fully informed” is similarly risible. Staff were utterly and self-consciously kept completely in the dark”

“This response tells us a lot about the decline that has taken place in Scottish education. In making judgements and basing decisions not on evidence but on rumour and innuendo, the inspectors have demonstrated that they are either uneducated, or there was indeed an orchestrated plan to bring down the school and do so much harm to children and families.”

“ES is clearly incapable of overseeing Scottish education. They are unprofessional, dishonest, wholly lacking in any understanding of additional support needs, and politically driven. This is embarrassing as well as tragic. How can they hold local authorities to account when they themselves are so flawed? Where is the leadership?”