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National deaf school lacking in key areas

SCOTLAND'S national deaf school has been ordered to improve its leadership after inspectors found important weaknesses in the way it was being run.

Education Scotland criticised the governance of Donaldson's Deaf School, in Linlithgow, as well as communication between the board, staff and parents.

Key strengths of the schools were recorded as the "outstanding quality" of children's experiences in the nursery and the contribution of specialist staff and residential staff.

Earlier this year, two senior officials from Donaldson's were temporarily suspended pending an inquiry into allegations of inappropriate behaviour by a member of staff.

The board took the unusual step of suspending Janice MacNeill, chief executive, and Mary O'Brien, the headteacher, to establish whether correct procedures were followed in a case dating back to 2009.

Yesterday's report from Education Scotland stated: "There have been tensions between some senior managers and staff. This has led to poor understanding and sharing of information on a range of issues."

Education Scotland has given it a year to improve.

Mary Mulligan, convenor of the board of Donaldson's Trust, welcomed the recognition given to the nursery, adding work will be done to ensure that we consistently achieve high levels of service and quality."

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