Derek Curran: General Teaching Council Scotland which cleared sex scandal 'superhead' to teach will review its ruling

A watchdog that cleared a former ‘superhead’ sacked over allegations of child abuse to teach again will review its ruling, the Evening News can reveal.

By Jolene Campbell
Friday, 21st January 2022, 4:55 am

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Derek Curran who was accused of fathering a child with a former pupil was declared fit to teach by a panel of his peers, eight years after he was at the centre of alleged child protection failures at Castlebrae High School.

But serious concerns were raised following the ruling on January 10 that his fitness to teach was ‘not currently impaired’.

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Derek Curran

Opposition councillors led calls for a more ‘robust’ review saying parents were ‘shocked’ at the decision to clear Curran to return to the classroom.

A previous Judge-led tribunal found his failure to expedite historic child abuse claims amounted to gross misconduct.

Curran, 61, has denied historic abuse claims against him which emerged during an investigation into sexual harassment claim made by the same young woman about another teacher at the school.

A panel of his peers also cleared Mr Curran over alleged failure to support the young woman, who received more than 40 sexually explicit emails from a science teacher at the school after she returned as an adult learner.

The complaint was first made by the young mother, 24 at the time, in January 2014 but three months later the accused teacher hadn’t been notified of the allegations.

A child and family centre manager stepped in and reported it to the council in a public interest disclosure, after she claimed Curran told her to ‘stay out of it’.

Now the whistleblower who supported the alleged victim has spoken out about her fears over allowing Curran to return to teaching.

She submitted a complaint to the chief executive of the general teaching council for Scotland and in a response, she was advised that a review of the panel’s decision will be carried out.

She said: “I believe clearing Curran to return to the classroom is unsafe and potentially puts children and young people at risk. I supported the young woman even though I was told to keep out of it. But I couldn’t not help her after she came to me. That was my job. I had to do the right thing.

"It’s beyond belief that he would be allowed back into a classroom. I have serious concerns about the evidence before the panel.”

The whistleblower also said her witness statement submitted to the fitness to practice hearing had been cut by Curran’s lawyers.

It comes as a separate investigation is being carried out into the Castlebrae scandal.

A spokesperson for the General Teaching Council Scotland said: “It is for Fitness to Teach Panels, which are made up of independent members, to decide the outcome of Fitness to Teach cases, according to a legal process and solely on the basis of the evidence before them.

“The Panel’s written decision will be published on our website normally within 28 days of the conclusion of the hearing . The Panel’s decision will list and summarise the evidence that the Panel had before it in order to make its decision.”

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