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Hill's nemesis ousted in coup

GROWING disarray in the Scottish School Board Association this week cost David Hutchison his position as president. Mr Hutchison was defeated for re-election to the East Ayshire seat on the association's executive board.

Meanwhile, Ann Hill, the reinstated chief executive, confirmed that the Government-backed international conference she is organising in Glasgow next month is to go ahead with pound;39,000 of backing from a foundation run by Brian Souter, owner of Stagecoach and the association's controversial partner in opposing repeal of Section 2A.

Mrs Hill told The TES Scotland that at a meeting in Glasgow on Tuesday to review arrangements for the conference, representatives of the Scottish Executive were happy with the sponsors, including Mr Souter.

The decision to allow Mrs Hill back at her Dumfries desk after being suspended for alleged finacial irregularities, was taken against the wishes of Mr Hutchison. He claims majority support for his stance from the executive board, but Frank Farrell, a Dumfries teacher who is secretary, and Alan Smith, the treasurer, decided on reinstatement. They argue that Mrs Hill's expertise is needed for the conference.

Mrs Hill said that Bill Fordyce, former director of education for Dumfries and Galloway, who was appointed interim chief executive last week, was no longer in the office.

The inquiry into claims that she continued to supplement her pound;28,000 salary with bonuses amounting to pound;10,000 for work for the Furbie Foundation after it ceased supplying schools with refurbished computers has now become external.

The conference on May 16-20 is due to be addressed by the Children and Education Minister. So far 100 delegates have enrolled.

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