Former head teacher charged with child sex offences

Neal McGowan
Neal McGowan

A former head teacher at Larbert High School has been charged with a string of child sex offences.

Police have confirmed that Neal McGowan (53), who left the school in 2009, had been charged with five offences since his initial arrest in March last year.

He is accused of causing or inciting sexual activity with a boy aged 13 to 17 and causing a child aged 13 to 17 to watch a sexual act.

He has also been charged with three counts of making indecent images of a child and is due before Chelmsford Magistrates Court on May 24.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A teacher has been charged with offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

“Neal McGowan (53) of Dickonsfield, Edinburgh, has been charged with two counts of abuse of position of trust – one for causing or inciting sexual activity with a boy aged 13 to 17 and one for causing a child aged 13 to 17 to watch a sexual act.

“He was also charged with three counts of making indecent images of a child. He is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on May 24.

“Mr McGowan, a teacher at William De Ferrers School in South Woodham Ferrers, was arrested by Essex Police in March 2016.

“If any members of the public have any information relating to the above, please contact Dc Jeanine Atkins-Calver on 101.”

Mr McGowan lectures on education at various universities and colleges in Scotland. He was made head teacher at Edinburgh’s Gracemount High School at the age of just 34 and stayed there from 1997 until 2002.

He has also taught at other Scottish schools as well as schools in England and China. He studied technological education at Moray House Institute of Education in Edinburgh and was awarded the Henry G Paterson Medal in 1985.

He also has a Masters in Education from the University of Edinburgh and the Degree of Doctor of Education from the University of Stirling.