College principal reported to Scottish Ministers

Forth Valley College's Falkirk campus
Forth Valley College's Falkirk campus

Furious union bosses have reported a college principal to education secretary John Swinney.

Dr Ken Thomson, the head of Forth Valley College, has been accused by the EIS of using “inappropriate” language towards striking lecturers as they stood on the picket lines outside the Falkirk campus during their recent dispute.

It is alleged he made “provocative” approaches and referred to them as “pathetic”.

The leader of the college which has 14.500 students between its campuses at Falkirk, Stirling and Alloa is also accused of circulating misinformation and causing students upset and undue stress.

The local branch of EIS FELA who passed a vote of no confidence in him and called on the College Board of Management to investigate their claims were stunned to be told no action will be taken.

Now the union has written to Mr Swinney, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science and the Scottish Funding Council with their concerns.

A union spokesperson said: “The branch feels it needs to protest to Ministers because of the refusal of the board to deal with this matter at a local level. We simply cannot accept the principal’s behaviour being swept under the carpet.”

A spokesperson for the College Board said: “The board has given full consideration to allegations made by the Forth valley Branch of EIS FELA and also sought independent legal advice on the issues.

“The unanimous conclusion was no action was merited and they retain their full confidence in and support for Dr Thomson in his role.”