DIVISIONS have emerged among staff from a crisis-hit Glasgow college which suspended its principal in February.

The split came to light after The Herald revealed details of a confidential letter sent to the board of Glasgow Clyde College by senior officials from the local branch of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS).

The letter, which highlights a raft of concerns over the running of the college and refers to a "perceived culture" of fear and bullying, came just two weeks before principal Susan Walsh was suspended pending an ongoing review.

However, some members of staff have expressed dismay at the letter, saying they have not seen its contents and that it should not be seen as representative of their views.

In a letter to the board, led by chairman George Chalmers, one member of staff stated: "The vast majority of EIS members have not been represented and had no knowledge of this letter or its contents.

"I have worked with the principal over an extended period of time and I have never seen any evidence of unprofessional behaviour."

Another letter to the board states: "No-one in the ordinary membership of the branch has read this letter and no-one knows what it actually contains.

"I have asked to see the letter and been told that it is strictly confidential. I have pointed out that as I don't know what's in it how can it be said to represent my views?

"Due to the lack of consultation and information offered to the wider membership of the EIS branch I would like to ask that this letter be disallowed."

Signed by three EIS members, including Peter Laverie, the staff representative on the Glasgow Clyde board, the letter highlighted a series of concerns over the running of the college, formed from a merger of Cardonald, Langside and Anniesland colleges.

The EIS letter states: "Teaching staff feel they have to work in a non-inclusive, insensitive college and there is a perceived culture of fear and that bullying comes from the top.

"Perhaps this is the biggest concern; that the board have never taken the time to recognise this or have been misled. Too many managers appear frightened to speak out or acknowledge publicly that there is a problem from the top down. The saddest thing is that many staff openly reflect that they don't like working for the college any more."

A spokesman for the college board said they were aware of the letter and had set up a group to look at the issues raised.