Former education boss “covered up complaint to protect headteacher”

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A TOP education official allegedly covered up claims that a headteacher was bullying a disabled child.

David Wright, the former Senior Education Manager of Schools at Edinburgh Council, was put in charge of a number of complaints made by parents.

The grievances all related to a disabled primary-aged child, who was allegedly being inappropriately handled by staff and bullied by the headteacher.

But it is claimed that Mr Wright failed to investigate the complaints and even lied to the family in a bid to protect colleagues.

David Wright was the Senior Education manager of Schools
David Wright was the Senior Education manager of Schools

Mr Wright is set to attend a hearing in front of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) later this month.

It is understood that Mr Wright retired in 2013 but if the charges are found proven he could be formally banned from ever working in the classroom..

A GTCS notice of hearing, posted online, states that seven complaints, made by a parent and his wife, were referred to Mr Wright for investigation.

All complaints relate to the period September 2010 and June 2011, and include allegations of “inappropriate handling of Pupil A by members of teaching staff” and “bullying and discrimination of Pupil A by the head teacher”.

The parents also complained about “the destruction, withholding or deliberate amendment for the purposes of concealment, of documentation including reports about the said handling”.

They also alleged that that staff had failed to ensure their child was safe within the school, and that someone had made “false or misleading statements” about the pupil and his parents.

Furthermore, they complained that there had been “an attempt to permanently delete information from an email account…following a request for the information from the City of Edinburgh Council”.

All of the complaints were referred to Mr Wright, whose job it was to thoroughly investigate and resolve them.

Misleading

However, the charges against Mr Wright state that between September 2010 and June 2011, he “did not investigate or review the complaints towards resolution or conciliation”.

It is alleged that he stated in an email of 6 June 2011 that he “had become involved in the case (of Pupil A) principally to protect the Head Teacher”.

He also “did not make every effort to resolve the complaints as quickly as possible” and “did not keep a record of the complaints, the action taken, conclusions and outcomes”, it is claimed.

The charges continue that he “did not make recommendations for management action in respect of the complaints” and “did not prepare an investigation report which concluded with the complainant’s right to approach the Ombudsman”.

The hearing notice also alleges that he assured the parents in a letter dated 21 October 2010 that he “had investigated the issues they had raised”, when in fact he “had not conducted an investigation in terms of the Procedure in respect of all the issues which they had raised.”

Mr Wright began working for the council in 2006, and that same year he helped to set up a text message system for school pupils to report bullying.

His Linkedin profile states that he worked as a head teacher at Portobello High School, in Edinburgh, between 2000 and 2006.

It also states that he spent three years as a head teacher at Dunbar Grammar School in East Lothian and gained a Masters in Education from Edinburgh University in 1985.

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