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‘Our family has suffered immensely’ – parents speak out after teacher’s ‘inappropriate behaviour’ to girl (15)

By Scott Maclennan

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The family at the centre of the allegations now just wants to ‘move on with our lives’ but are satisfied their daughter has been ‘vindicated.’
The family at the centre of the allegations now just wants to ‘move on with our lives’ but are satisfied their daughter has been ‘vindicated.’

A Highland family is attempting to put an “extremely difficult year” behind them and “move on with our lives” after Highland Council upheld their complaint about a teacher’s behaviour to their daughter.

We are withholding the name of the family as the local authority is still probing allegations that emerged while investigating their complaint, as well as to protect them a year where they felt “vilified.”

They submitted a complaint about sexualised language and gifts to their teenage daughter – who only turned 16 while in the class in question – in April 2023, but the issues started months earlier.

They had hoped for swift action but the investigation only concluded last week and the impact on the family living in a close-knit Highland community has been significant.

EXCLUSIVE: Council 'sorry' for Highland teacher’s 'inappropriate behaviour' towards girl (15)

They said: “Our experience of the investigation process was emotionally exhausting. There appeared to be no transparency and all information was hidden behind the phrase ‘personnel’.

“We understood this premise, but the lack of any meaningful information or engagement provided us with no confidence or reassurance of the quality, impartiality or progress of the investigation.”

“Throughout the last year our family has suffered immensely. Our daughter’s honesty and integrity have been continually questioned. The support offered to her felt impersonal and inadequate, so much so that she left school aged 16 without completing her final year.”

They added: “We believe she was not shown a duty of care in school or during the investigation and the time it took for her to be vindicated was unacceptable and damaging.”

They wanted to be clear about why they made the complaint – which led to a council official saying “sorry” six different times – stems from real concern about their daughter’s wellbeing.

They said: “The purpose of our complaint was to question what we believed was inappropriate behaviour that fell below the standards expected from teachers.”

Despite that “Highland Council have not disclosed to us any real detail of disciplinary actions taken following the conclusion of our complaint. We trust that these will be appropriate and we are satisfied that our complaint was upheld.”

They have called on the council to make changes including: “Reviewing all of the processes which contributed to our experience – including recruitment and selection, staff monitoring, supervision and safeguarding.

“Children and parents must feel informed and enabled to raise a concern without fear of consequences.”

They concluded: “We are known to be a quiet and private family and did not seek any part of this situation we have found ourselves in. After an extremely difficult year we would now like to put this matter behind us and move on with our lives.”

A Highland Council spokesperson said: “No one should hesitate in raising a concern about safeguarding. The council will always consider any such concerns very seriously and has appropriate processes in place. We are unable to comment on personnel matters.”

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