Concerns over sacking of College Principal raised in Council chamber

Moray College  UHI – unanswered questions over Principal sacking.

A Moray councillor was urged to “be patient” when he highlighted community concerns over the surprise removal of the principal of Moray College UHI from his post.

The SNP’s spokesman on education issues at Moray Council, Councillor Mike Shand, raised his concerns at the children and young people’s services committee on Wednesday.

Councillor Shand echoed concerns of staff and students over the surprise sacking of Frank Hughes earlier this month after only a short period in office. The College Board removed Mr Hughes saying only that “things were not working” since he had taken up the post.

The Elgin City North councillor said that left many people with serious concerns over the running of Moray College. He said: “Moray College UHI is a significant partner in the Moray Economic Partnership and was greatly praised by consultants at the recent charrette in central Elgin about the regeneration of the town centre.

“Pupils are going from council schools to attend many courses in the college – so it is and important organisation.

“But we can only look from afar at the recent upheavals in the college.”

Councillor Shand added that the removal of the principal who had only been appointed in August last year was shrouded in mystery. He said: “I know that the staff have not been talked to at all about this, any communication has been by terse e-mail and nobody has talked to staff about the situation.

“Has there been any contact whatsoever with one of Moray Council’s most important partners?”

Committee chair Councillor Anne Skene refused to allow any discussion on the matter however, insisting that it would not be appropriate for the committee to discuss the College’s internal staffing issues.

She went on to urge Councillor Shand to be patient until a briefing had been provided to Councillors from the community planning partnership.

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