The former director of education with Falkirk Council has been suspended from his new role with a neighbouring authority.
Andrew Sutherland is North Lanarkshire Council’s executive director of learning and leisure services.
Yesterday, the local authority announced he had been suspended as an investigation begins into the accuracy of data on teaching staff numbers.
The news has come “out of the blue”, according to a senior councillor.
A council spokesman said Andrew Sutherland has been suspended “pending an internal investigation”, adding: “The investigation concerns the maintenance and accuracy of data on numbers of teaching staff. There will be no further comment while this investigation takes place.”
A senior councillor said: “There was nothing suggesting this on the horizon. It has come right out of the blue.”
Mr Sutherland took up his post as executive director of learning and leisure services in September 2013. He had only joined Falkirk Council as the education boss less than two years before.
His time with North Lanarkshire has not been without controversy.
Shortly after joining he was immediately embroiled in a row over plans to close Our Lady’s High School in Motherwell and Taylor High School in New Stevenston and re-locate both to a new campus at Ravenscraig. That proposal was eventually rejected by councillors after a massive protest campaign by parents.
Last year Mr Sutherland was forced into an embarrassing u-turn after telling pupils at schools in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth not to raise funds for Strathcarron Hospice. He had claimed, wrongly, that the Denny hospice didn’t provide services for people in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.