Allegations of bullying at college investigated

3rd February 2012 at 00:00

Education secretary Michael Russell has asked the Scottish Funding Council to prepare a report on allegations of bullying at Adam Smith College in Fife.

His move follows the launch of a website and online petition by the "Interested Parties of Adam Smith" last week, calling for an independent investigation and the suspension of the principal and vice-principal.

Members of the anonymous group allege bullying, victimisation and systemic abuse of college staff by members of the senior management team under the principal, Dr Craig Thomson.

They claim this has affected the health of staff and has led to a number of resignations. One member of staff said online that he had been "slandered and made to feel irrelevant to the task of delivering creative education in Fife".

The college's Wikipedia entry has also been altered, with a topic entitled "controversy" making claims of "systemic abuse, bullying and victimisation of staff and students, and misappropriation of finances by senior management".

Dr Thomson reacted to the allegations with an email to staff, stressing they should all have the "absolute right to come to work, to do a good job and to work safely and securely"; he offered to meet them yesterday and today.

David Torrance, SNP MSP for Kirkcaldy, who raised the issue with Mr Russell, said he would be calling for the principal's resignation if the allegations proved true.

A spokesman for the college said a number of "unfounded and quite ridiculous allegations" had been made on the website "which the college robustly refutes". Allegations had previously been made against two executive directors, and these were being investigated fully, he added.

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