Tom McAughtrie, Labour councillor for Abbey Ward, has hit out Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Director of Education over the head teacher recruitment process for the Troqueer and Kirkcudbright primary schools
Councillor Tom McAughtrie said, “The Director had no authority from Councillors to use this closed process for appointing new Head Teachers for either of these schools. At a full council meeting on the 30 May of this year, it was agreed that only schools with a pupil roll of 150 or fewer would be included in Cluster Working Review. At no time were councillors told that this review would impact on schools above 150. However, we now find that the Director decided to change the rules after the full council meeting in May without consulting councillors and is basically banning people from applying for the post of Head Teacher at Kirkcudbright or Troqueer unless they are existing Head Teachers in other schools affected by the Cluster Review.
“Parents were never consulted or told about this change. When this was pointed out to the Director by me at the Education Committee, he had the audacity to blame the retiring Head Teachers for not telling parents. It’s not a retiring Head Teacher’s job to tell parents about his flawed recruitment process for their replacement. It is the responsibility of the Director and the Education Department, a responsibility they have failed to meet. For the Director to try to blame retiring Head Teachers, who frankly wouldn't have known about this closed process, is little short of a disgrace and he should be ashamed of himself."
“When parents were alerted to this change of policy, they were furious because it has restricted the number of people who can apply for these posts to just a handful. We need to encourage as many people as possible to apply for such important roles not turn it into a closed shop so the Director can find jobs for people”.
A Labour motion not to go ahead with the process was defeated by the votes of Tory and SNP councillors including Abbey Ward Tory Councillor Ian Blake, Abbey Ward SNP Councillor Rob Davidson both who represent Troqueer , as well as Dee Ward Tory Councillor Patsy Gilroy who represents Kirkcudbright. Dee Ward Collin Wyper abstained. This prompted angry scenes at the end of the meeting, with representatives of Parent Council’s in attendance angry at the lack of support.