Oxgangs Primary head teacher suspended amid bullying claims
A PRIMARY headteacher has been suspended amid complaints about the handling of bullying allegations at her school.
Liz Walshe, head at Oxgangs Primary School, is understood to be facing a disciplinary investigation.
And one of the city’s most respected heads, Anthea Grierson from Juniper Green Primary, has been drafted in to take the helm at Oxgangs in the meantime.
Parent Stephanie Myers said she had lodged an official complaint and moved her two children to another school three weeks ago after her son became ill after being bullied. She said: “My wee boy was being bullied and they were not doing anything about it. I had no option, but to remove them.”
The school suffered massive disruption two years ago when it was at the centre of the crisis over structural faults at 17 city schools built under a public private partnership contract.
It was the collapse of an outer wall at Oxgangs that alerted officials to the problem. Pupils had to be taught elsewhere while checks and repairs were carried out.
Councillors today called for more openness about the situation at the school.
A letter to parents from the school’s depute head Sarah Crole headed “Temporary Management Changes” said: “I am writing to let you know Mrs Walshe will be out of school for the next few weeks. I’m pleased to let you know that Mrs Anthea Grierson, head teacher at Juniper, will cover in her absence.
“Mrs Grierson is an experienced headteacher and is looking forward to joining the Oxgangs community on a temporary basis. I am sure everyone will make her welcome.”
Green councillor Gavin Corbett said the situation was “obviously unsettling” for the school community so soon after the building issues.
But he said: “One of the key lessons from that period is the need to keep families informed about what is going on.
“So I’m looking for the council to be as frank as it can be with parents about why there has been a temporary change in leadership at the school and what is being done to address any concerns that parents have raised.
“Without that clear and frank communication, rumours just fill the gap and distract from all the excellent work that is going on in the school.”
Conservative Cllr Jason Rust said: “There is an active parent community at Oxgangs which has, along with the pupils and staff themselves, been through a lot over recent years. I have therefore requested that the council be as transparent as possible in communicating with parents.
“I asked for a parentmail to all parents with the latest staffing changes as they had not been informed directly and I have requested attendance from the department at next week’s parent council meeting.
“Parents have been in contact with me in respect of specific issues at the school and these have been passed on to the department and are being dealt with through due process. I am confident that the proper procedures will be followed.”
A council spokesman said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on personnel issues.”