Ex-ministers back outgoing director

6th August 2010 at 01:00
Two former education ministers have given their public backing to Aberdeenshire's director of education, whose resignation was announced this week.

Bruce Robertson was suspended six months ago on full pay after the council announced an independent inquiry into allegations of bullying, understood to have emanated from a few secondary heads whose leadership and decision- making had been challenged by him.

But according to Maureen Watt, former schools minister and SNP MSP for North East Scotland, Mr Robertson had "nothing to answer for and no action is being taken against him" following the inquiry, carried out by Maggi Allan, former education director in South Lanarkshire.

"My understanding is that he still has the support of the primary school sector, central services staff, the unions, and the majority of councillors," said Ms Watt, who will be asking questions about the cost to Aberdeenshire's council tax-payers - understood to exceed pound;300,000.

She accused the leadership of Aberdeenshire Council of "allowing complaints from some secondary headteachers to outweigh the record and success of a director dedicated to improving the education of Aberdeenshire's children".

Former Labour education minister Peter Peacock, who worked closely with Mr Robertson when he ran education in Highland Council, said: "It seems simply incredible to me that Aberdeenshire could let a man with this much talent go, when they have so much they need to do."

He added: "I hope that Aberdeenshire's undoubted loss will be Scotland's gain. Bruce Robertson has still got a great deal to offer Scottish education."

One primary head praised Mr Robertson for giving strong leadership and direction when he arrived three years ago, after being headhunted by Aberdeenshire.

"He expected the secondary schools to move forward at the same pace as primary schools with Curriculum for Excellence - but secondary schools are very slow beasts to move," said the head.

Mr Robertson's departure will be seen by some commentators as further evidence of the power play between council chief executives and education directors on the one hand, and the leadership rivalries between some headteachers and education directors on the other.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now