Galbraith goes down fighting

2nd February 2001 at 00:00
Neil Galbraith, former longest-serving director of education in Scotland, has waded into the controversy by openly defending Lews Castle.

Mr Galbraith retired last year after a spell as acting chief executive and has been associated with efforts to preserve the unique vocational school against total assimilation into the Nicolson. His wife, Bella, is a former assistant head at Lews and has leapt to its defence along with the former head and depute.

Others, however, have welcomed the removal of the Galbraiths from the scene, including Angus McCormack, past president of the Educational Institute of Scotland and former Nicolson assistant head, who notesthat "the negative hand that lay on education in the Western Isles for years has gone".

Both current headteachers are publicly divided but teacher unions back the council's plans to close Lews and merge it with the Nicolson under the latter's management and name.

In his written submission, Mr Galbraith describes the closure as "educationally damaging" and warns that closure could be open to legal challenge and charges of maladminstration. "The intention is to take a massive educational step backwards and dispose of a system which has placed the Western Isles at the forefront of vocational achievement in Scotland for many years," he states.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today