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Inquiry rubbishes nepotism claims

"Jobs for the boys" allegations made by staff at Kilmarnock College have been dismissed following a Scottish Office investigation.

Charges of nepotism in college appointments were passed to the Scottish Office in a letter said to come from college staff.

They complained that some of the 35 jobs created in a restructuring exercise went to friends and former colleagues of the college management before they were advertised.

The college, which denied it was at the centre of a subsequent inquiry, says it took the step of calling in a Scottish Office official to discuss the allegations over two months ago.

The official investigated claims that experienced staff were turned down for the new management posts and made redundant or downgraded.

The letter also complained about inconsistency and unfairness in the way staff were selected for posts.

A spokesman for the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department told The TES Scotland this week: "We looked at the staffing restructuring at Kilmarnock College and were satisfied there had been full consultation and support for those members of staff who were leaving.

"We found no evidence to support any of the anonymous allegations and the Department is taking no further action."

A Kilmarnock College statement declined to comment on the allegations since the board of management had not received the letter.

It reiterated the Scottish Office finding that the restructuring process was discussed with the staff and was subject to "extensive consultation with all the recognised trade unions within the college".

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