Rothesay campus principal seconded after ombudsman’s criticism

The principal of Rothesay Joint Campus, Wendy Brownlie, has been seconded to a new position, Argyll and Bute Council has announced.
The principal of Rothesay Joint Campus, Wendy Brownlie, has been seconded to a new position, Argyll and Bute Council has announced.

The principal of Rothesay Joint Campus has been seconded to a new position, Argyll and Bute Council has announced.

Wendy Brownlie will begin work in her new post later this month, while a new acting head teacher for the Rothesay campus has already been appointed in her place.

News of Mrs Brownlie’s secondment was confirmed in the week that Rothesay Academy was criticised by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman for having “unreasonably failed” to follow procedures when dealing with a child protection issue at the school.

The issue arose after inappropriate comments were made to a 14-year-old female pupil at the Academy by a male member of the school’s support staff.

As a result, a complaint was made about the school’s handling of a child protection issue, first to the council and then to the SPSO.

Seeking confirmation from the council about the current leadership arrangements at the Academy, we asked a series of questions relating to Mrs Brownlie’s secondment and replacement and received the following statement from a council spokesperson.

“From 25th November 2014 Mrs Brownlie will be leading on the teacher re-accreditation project, ‘Professional Update’, for Argyll and Bute Council.

“‘Professional Update’ is a General Teaching Council for Scotland initiative designed to support teachers’ professional development. All councils in Scotland must prepare for it being introduced in 2014. I know that Mrs Brownlie’s experience and interest in teachers’ professional development will greatly benefit the project.

“An acting head teacher is now in post and we look forward to continuing to work together with parents in delivering quality education services for the pupils of Rothesay Joint Campus.”

We also asked the council whether the male member of the Academy’s support staff who was the subject of the original incident from which the complaint to the SPSO arose was still working at the school, or in any position with the council, and whether that position involved working directly with children, and were told: “This person is no longer at Rothesay Academy.”

Finally, following a council statement earlier this week which mentioned that the council had upheld the original complaint by the parent - who then went to the SPSO - we asked when the complaint had been upheld by the council, and were told this had happened in July 2013.