Where is the permanently seconded former Head Teacher of Rothesay Joint Campus today?

Over the course of a very few years around 2013, Rothesay Joint Campus had a series of six official complaints against it upheld. That alone would have been of serious concern; but these complaints focused on a specific and fundamentally disturbing area of failure.

  • Upheld: a complaint made under Section 70 of the Education Act Scotland 1980. Such complaints relate to alleged failures by education authorities to carry out duties imposed on them by law. According to this section, an education authority has a duty to make adequate and efficient provision for the additional support needs of a child or young person who has those needs.
  • Upheld: a Disability Discrimination case made under the Equalities Act 2010.
  • Upheld: a complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman [SPSO] made about the failure to follow Child Protection procedures. [The child who was the subject of this complaint was excluded by the school – an action later overruled by the Argyll and Bute Council’s education department.]
  • Upheld: another complaint to the SPSO on failures to communicate appropriately with parents, keep due records and confront the issue of additional support needs in the school for children with learning difficulties. We also understand that the council was ordered to apologise to a particular family on this matter and failed to do so within the given time period – a moral and spiritual poverty that beggars belief.
  • Upheld: a complaint about the exclusion of a child with Aspergers Syndrome – which was reversed by Argyll and Bute Council’s Education Appeal Committee.
  • Upheld: a complaint to the Information Commission made under the Data Protection Act 1998 against the council – which involved confidential data about families on the island being illegally released.

One of these related to a stand-out case in 2012 – where endemic regular victimisation of the differently able in the school – in which the role of some staff was ambivalent – manifested itself in years of bullying of a boy with Aspergers Syndrome – of which the council was aware. This bullying reached a point where NINE male pupils later confessed to acts as serious as criminal assault.

The complaint upheld in 2013 by the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman was about the failure properly to address a complaint by a parent about inappropriate sexual comments made to a 14 year old girl by a teaching assistant.

Argyll and Bute Council’s education department was, in any one’s eyes, criminally culpable in its failure to take action to redeem a situation of this order in one of its schools: a situation of which it was fully aware and a situation which might never have been addressed at all had not the local newspaper, The Buteman, reported on the matter and escalated it into the wider public domain.

At least a year after being formally advised of the 2013 incident, the Council arranged a secondment for the Head Teacher who, while not the whole of the problem, was the heart of it and arguably its genesis.

We understand that there was prima facie evidence to sack her – yet no attempt was made to do that. She has been  retained in other guises on her full and substantial salary as Head Teacher of a sizeable school.

The secondment to which the Head Teacher was moved was, astonishingly, to work on Continuing Professional Development for Staff.

This Head Teacher’s recommendation on such a subject would make curious reading – whether anyone would choose to follow the advice of someone with this track record in performance is another matter.

And where is she now?

It gets much worse.

With the specific failures of this Head Teacher to empathise with, feel and take any responsibility for vulnerable young people in her professional care, knowingly leaving them continually open to abuse, she is currently in charge of the Health and Wellbeing of school age children in Argyll and Bute.

This is a former Head Teacher who, over a period of years, serially betrayed her professional duty to care for the health and wellbeing of children entrusted to her.

The cost of continuing to pay her salary, while also paying for her post to be filled from elsewhere, has seen the local authority make at least one other teacher redundant and lay off support assistants – the very people who work most closely with children with disabilities, those who have been so badly let down.

The redundant Head Teacher’s salary would employ around three or four support assistants.

And today, in the light of her track record, the nature of her latest post beggars belief.

Have Argyll and Bute Council’s responsible Education Director and Director of Community Services, Cleland Sneddon and responsible Chief Executive, Sally Loudon NO judgment whatsoever, NO sense of what is utterly inappropriate?

The former Head Teacher can have no sense of discretion either, in imagining that this was ever a fitting job to accept, given her track record.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • And when did you become judge and jury?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 46

    No Cheese Here June 8, 2015 9:48 pm Reply
    • The six upheld complaints, all serious, were judge and jury in the case – and different judges and juries, bringing different perspectives to bear. The issue here is the inappropriate and irresponsible ‘sentence’.
      Have you somehow set aside the fact that these issues of complaint – all upheld – were about the repeated failure to protect vulnerable children from gross bullying, with NINE pupils admitting to physical bullying at the level of criminal assault; and from inappropriate sexual remarks from a member of staff?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 53 Thumb down 20

      newsroom June 8, 2015 10:07 pm Reply
      • This is surely a question for the Councillor responsible for Education policy.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 41 Thumb down 14

        Robert Wakeham June 8, 2015 10:43 pm Reply
  • This is just the tip of the iceberg! Just need to look a wee but closer at what’s been happening in our schools. Staff have left in droves due to a culture of bullying and intimidation.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 43 Thumb down 14

    It's a can of worms June 8, 2015 10:29 pm Reply
  • Folk don’t want to teach in Argyll and Bite under these council officers. Lochgilphead Primary has lost so many staff the classes have been reorganised mid year.

    Sneddon has a lot to answer for.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 5

    Bob June 9, 2015 7:48 am Reply
    • 6-7 teaching staff are leaving Lochgilphead High school this session too – they continue to have a very high turnover of staff – very worrying as a parent

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

      shine on June 12, 2015 10:25 pm Reply
  • Which of the councils groups would look at the suitability of this sort of appointment, surely our children need to be protected. It’s a privilege to be around children and to be responsible for the health and well being of children when you have this woman’s history can only have disastrous results. Is there any checks on her and what she is doing?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 3

    wilson June 9, 2015 8:35 am Reply
  • It was the Morton wean in charge of education, now its Rory Colville. I was wrong on my first post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

    No Cheese Here June 9, 2015 8:44 am Reply
    • NCH copycat – a cooncillor or official in hiding
      Stop lying.

      NCH copycat produces this drivel

      New petition on Council’s conduct of attempted community buy out of Castle Toward
      Who cares! It’s Mike Russell’s personal vendetta again. Dick Walsh got enough votes to block the sale. Democracy in action.
      Channel 4 ‘Coalition’ docudrama revealed two new facts
      Newsie can’t tell fact from fiction but we knew that. It was a drama not a documentary! Like For Argyll and the National!
      Police Scotland Lochgilphead: police reports for week to 17th March 2015
      It had a UKOK sticker!
      Cross-party support for Russell’s ‘Castle Toward’ amendments to Community Empowerment Bill
      Simon you are absolutely correct. I see the stalker is killing time waiting for the Spar offie to open. Work – must be bru day!
      Cross-party support for Russell’s ‘Castle Toward’ amendments to Community Empowerment Bill
      Neo idea but it sounds clever. Russell is right that £1.75m of public money should have been given to SCCDC for no community contribution. I am happy to have more potholes and worse carer services to pay for this. Russell could keep the windmill turning himself with his hot air. Now for a wee liquid breakfast to sharpen my bile.

      Reminds me of thistle and juttle!,

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

      No Cheese Here June 12, 2015 6:54 pm Reply
      • Shame, thought for a moment you wiz referring to THE “Thistle”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

        Thistle June 13, 2015 7:30 pm Reply
        • Reckon you’ve had enough for wan day, bilge-peddler

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

          Thistle June 13, 2015 7:32 pm Reply
  • NCH. At least you had the guts to admit your mistake and publicly too.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

    Aral June 9, 2015 12:18 pm Reply
  • Well, what can we expect when “certain” councillors have been bullying for years, and nothing done by anyone to stop it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

    Dunoon Lad June 9, 2015 5:15 pm Reply
    • Bullies are best ignored… don’t vote for them

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      Thistle June 13, 2015 7:34 pm Reply
  • All of the good staff with talent and integrity are voting with their feet. Others are miserable and cannot speak out. Look below the surface and you will see what’s been happening ! It’s an epidemic and who pays the price? Our young people who deserve the best are embroiled in the middle of all of this. Staff who try to speak out about issues with new structures and concerns about the impact on pupils are shot down. Why is no one looking at this more closely? What about a duty of care?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 5

    It's a can of worms June 9, 2015 11:15 pm Reply
    • The duty of care is one of too many things that are ‘more honoured in the breach than the observing’.
      Argyll and Bute council’s senior officers do a daunting amount of honouring in the breach.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

      newsroom June 10, 2015 8:17 pm Reply
  • It is becoming obvious that employees of A&BC are petrified of the management hierarchy within A&BC.
    Why are the parents not taking action against Clelland Sneddon – Education Director and Director of Community Services and the Chief Executive Ms S. Loudon? It’s all very well chuntering about the ineptitude of A&BC Directors but without registering your complaints in writing nothing will change.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

    Aral June 10, 2015 5:46 pm Reply
  • test

    Is there a problem with this site? For the last two days when I open it up I only see comments up to 8th June. I delete cookies every time I shut down, but up to the 8th I could still read the comments and just add my name and email to log on if I wanted to make a comment.
    I could not read the latest comments on my home computer yesterday and it is the same on my netbook now away from home. Once I posted the test it all opened up again. I will try a different computer tomorrow and see if that works.
    I can’t imagine it’s just me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    Murdoch MacKenzie June 10, 2015 9:15 pm Reply
    • Thank you for this, Murdoch. We’ll get on to it.
      We’ve had some back-office problems with uploading images but what you’re saying sounds as if there’s mor than that.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

      newsroom June 10, 2015 10:19 pm Reply
    • We’ve checked this out, Murdoch and Charles has done an upgrade that he hopes will solve the problems.
      Would you let us know if it has sorted out the experiences you were having?
      And again, thank you for the prompt.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

      newsroom June 10, 2015 11:43 pm Reply
      • I’m on another computer now, but I’ve used this one before and it keeps my settings and is showing everything is up to date. I’ll let you know if my netbook works or not some time this evening. If the problem still persists I will try and access your site on someone else’s computer.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        Murdoch MacKenzie June 11, 2015 12:44 pm Reply
    • Oh it is. Try imagining just a little harder

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

      Thistle June 13, 2015 6:28 pm Reply
  • test

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Murdoch MacKenzie June 11, 2015 7:58 pm Reply
    • Invalid

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

      Thistle June 13, 2015 7:36 pm Reply
  • I could read the latest stories when I switched on but it had still retained my details from my last session, must have been after midnight.
    I disabled my cookies and browsing history and switched on again and ended up back with this story on the 8th June and nothing after that. The last post that comes up is #2, A can of worms, at 10.29 on June 8th. I will get on a different computer tomorrow and see what happens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Murdoch MacKenzie June 11, 2015 8:12 pm Reply
  • I tried to open your site earlier this morning on a colleague’s computer and it was the same as my netbook. The last posting when it is like this is actually Robert at 10.45 on the 8th.
    It seems to have suffered an event after that time that stops any new reader, or any existing user who disables cookies and history on shutdown, from getting anything input after that time.
    If I sign on and make a post it all comes back up to date.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Murdoch MacKenzie June 12, 2015 1:49 pm Reply
    • Ah! there you are.
      Now, hows aboot some eponymouse(sick) slagging off in the current top-of-the-show thread featuring the other Kennedy assassination.
      C’mon, gie it yer best yit…an’ nae “cumpooter saise naw” excuses either

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

      Thistle June 13, 2015 6:36 pm Reply
    • Clearly a conspiracy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

      Alex McKay June 14, 2015 5:26 pm Reply
  • Well, perhaps prudently, keeping the heid doon

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

    Thistle June 13, 2015 6:45 pm Reply

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