Council says procedures were followed

Springfield Primary acting headteacher Rosalind Veneroni
Springfield Primary acting headteacher Rosalind Veneroni

A furious row has broken out over the appointment of a new headteacher at Springfield Primary school, causing a resignation, letters to the council and a call for a public enquiry!

Mrs Rosalind Veneroni has been in post as the acting headteacher for almost two years and had applied for the full-time post when West Lothian Council advertised her job.

She was interviewed, before being told she had been unsuccesful and would be moved to Peel primary in Livingston in yet another acting headteacher role after the summer holidays.

This has prompted calls for a public enquiry, seen complaints made to the council over its handling of the affair, a resignation of the parent council chairwoman and a deputation which
attended West Lothian councillor, Tom Kerr’s surgery to register their anger and dissatisfaction over the decision.

Mrs Veneroni has been lauded over the substantial changes she has brought to bear at the school since taking over the role of acting headteacher and recently oversaw an excellent education validation report carried out by the council.

Tom Robison of Linlithgow, a parent helper at the school said: “I am appalled at this decision. Staff morale has nosedived in the last week and is at an all-time low. There are also concerns that procedures have not been properly followed, in that the parent council were not properly consulted over the appointment process, and I am calling on the council’s chief executive Graham Hope to suspend this decision.”

Mr Robison also said that council policy is ‘Where there are fewer than three eligible candidates, the depute chief executive may decide to re-advertise but will consult with the particular school’s parent council before making this 

“Had the parent council been consulted I am fairly certain a different outcome may well have been reached on this issue.”

A West Lothian Council spokesman said: “We completely refute any suggestion that the correct process was not followed when appointing a permanent head teacher for Springfield Primary and Bonnytoun Nursery.

“We have a fair and robust recruitment process in place for recruiting head teachers.

‘‘This process is undertaken in line with legislation and council policy and we can confirm it was followed in the recent appointment.”