THE Capital’s education chief is quitting with a “six-figure” pay-out amid concern over investigations into failures within her department, the Evening News has learned.
Gillian Tee is today due to retire from her £140,000-a-year post as director of communities and families.
The move comes as probes continue into “dirty tricks” carried out by staff connected to Cameron House Community Centre and the mistreatment of a city primary school pupil with autism.
It also emerged Ms Tee will stand down with a substantial “golden goodbye”, which is understood to include pension lump sum payments.
This has sparked anger at the City Chambers, amid disquiet that chief executive Andrew Kerr opted not to take disciplinary action against her.
A senior council source said: “She’s had a massive amount of pay-out to go away – a six-figure sum, I understand.
“She’s literally going, so why has such a large package been given to her?
“Is it simply that the chief executive took the easy option, so he has paid her to go away rather than making the difficult decision of suspending her and having an inquiry within her department?
“Why has this happened so quickly and what scrutiny has taken place regarding the package that’s been given? The concern is that it was such a large golden goodbye.
“The chief executive has gone for the easy option. He has not been willing to discipline her but is willing to pay her lots of money to go away.”
Ms Tee’s departure comes after the Cameron House scandal and allegations that a student’s complaint about improper behaviour by a teacher at Castlebrae High was effectively ignored for four months.
We also revealed how the council’s chief executive had apologised “in person” to an autistic pupil and his parents after he missed five months of classes at James Gillespie’s Primary because of a failure to provide sufficient teaching support.
The pupil’s father said: “This is the third time that a senior officer has retired, or announced their retirement, while under investigation in relation to our son’s case.
“In the circumstances, we think that it if anyone is found to have acted wrongly, rather than making genuine mistakes, then we feel it would be appropriate for them to make a donation to the National Autistic Society Scotland, to be used to raise awareness of autism in Scottish schools and their communities.
“We have raised concerns with the chief executive which span a period of five years. These are being investigated externally.”
The father said he was told that a report would be sent to the chief executive before Christmas.
“It is of the utmost importance that the outcome of this investigation is shared, to be clear about what happened, and so that the maximum learning can result,” he added.
Conservative councillor Cameron Rose said: “I remain concerned that there are outstanding issues under investigation within the department.”
City bosses said they could not comment on suggestions of a large payout to Ms Tee.
Chief executive Andrew Kerr said: “Gillian Tee will be retiring from the council at the end of December after 34 years working in children’s services.
“She has led the children and families directorate since 2007.
“Children’s services in Edinburgh have improved significantly during that time. Gillian has been responsible for numerous successes that I wish to thank her for.
“Gillian will leave her role at the end of the year and we wish her all the best in the future. We will begin the search for her successor in the New Year.”