Reported unactioned drug use in a Glasgow Secondary School

Paul Hughes made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Glasgow City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Glasgow City Council,

Can you confirm that a member of staff of a Secondary School on the South Side of Glasgow during 2009/10 was requested by his headteacher to approach the local Community Police with information he had been furnished with by a pupil of the school (son of a drug addict) suggesting that drug use was prevalent in the school?

Can you confirm that the headteacher and the police were furnished with a whole-school role containing the names of all pupils with the names of those witnessed using drugs in or around the school ticked off by school pupils who had witnessed the misuse of drugs?

Can you confirm that this whole-school role also contained a break-down of the system for supplying the drugs to school pupils: namely - a recently enrolled pupil (then in third year) being dropped at the school gates where he would be met by three other pupils (also third year) where they would proceed to the backcourts of the tenements across the road from the school. The purpose of this, as the staff were aware, was to distribute the drugs to the other pupils so the main supplier would never be found "in possession"?

Can you confirm that the extent of drug use in and around the vicinity of the school was considered to be "huge"?

Can you confirm that shortly prior to this report to police that a pupil excluded from a school in East Renfrewshire for distributing drugs to other pupils on school premises was enrolled in the school and was believed by staff, and reported by many pupils, to be the source of the drug use?

Can you confirm that this same school had a serious concern regarding tampering with the gas supply of the school to the extent that a "hidden camera" was placed in a Home Economics class to catch the perpetrator, every other means having been exhausted?

Can you confirm that the Directors of Amey and the then Director of Education gave permission for the camera to be put in place because the safety concerns were "severe"?

Can you confirm that a current member of staff of the school was discussed in meetings at Wheatley House that involved senior council staff (including the Director of Education) and senior Amey personnel as being the potential source of the problem?

Yours faithfully,

Paul Hughes

Customer Care Centre, Glasgow City Council

New Service Request was submitted: RQST00004200550
You can simply reply to this Email, and your reply
will automatically be associated with this Service Request

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Paterson, Marnie,

 

Dear Mr Hughes

 

Thank you for your recent request, please see below, and would advise that
the Freedom of Information Act allows people to access all types of
recorded information, provided no exemptions apply.  Please note that I
cannot process this as Freedom of Information request as you have not
identified any particular school or given any specific incidents,
therefore the information you have requested cannot be identified.

 

Please contact me if you require any further information or if you wish to
re-word your request, details below.

 

 

 

 

 

“Dear Glasgow City Council,

    

     Can you confirm that a member of staff of a Secondary School on the

     South Side of Glasgow during 2009/10 was requested by his

     headteacher to approach the local Community Police with information

     he had been furnished with by a pupil of the school (son of a drug

     addict) suggesting that drug use was prevalent in the school?

    

     Can you confirm that the headteacher and the police were furnished

     with a whole-school role containing the names of all pupils with

     the names of those witnessed using drugs in or around the school

     ticked off by school pupils who had witnessed the misuse of drugs?

    

     Can you confirm that this whole-school role also contained a

     break-down of the system for supplying the drugs to school pupils:

     namely - a recently enrolled pupil (then in third year) being

     dropped at the school gates where he would be met by three other

     pupils (also third year) where they would proceed to the backcourts

     of the tenements across the road from the school. The purpose of

     this, as the staff were aware, was to distribute the drugs to the

     other pupils so the main supplier would never be found "in

     possession"?

    

     Can you confirm that the extent of drug use in and around the

     vicinity of the school was considered to be "huge"?

    

     Can you confirm that shortly prior to this report to police that a

     pupil excluded from a school in East Renfrewshire for distributing

     drugs to other pupils on school premises was enrolled in the school

     and was believed by staff, and reported by many pupils, to be the

     source of the drug use?

    

     Can you confirm that this same school had a serious concern

     regarding tampering with the gas supply of the school to the extent

     that a "hidden camera" was placed in a Home Economics class to

     catch the perpetrator, every other means having been exhausted?

    

     Can you confirm that the Directors of Amey and the then Director of

     Education gave permission for the camera to be put in place because

     the safety concerns were "severe"?

    

     Can you confirm that a current member of staff of the school was

     discussed in meetings at Wheatley House that involved senior

     council staff (including the Director of Education) and senior Amey

     personnel as being the potential source of the problem?”

 

   Yours faithfully,

    

     Paul Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

Marnie Paterson

Admin Officer

Customer Liaison Unit

Education Services

City Chambers, East

40 John Street

Glasgow G1 1JL

Phone: 287 5384

glasgow.gov.uk

 

 

 

Glasgow - Proud Host City of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

 

 

Glasgow - Proud host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

More than 11 days of sport www.gameslegacyglasgow.com

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Dear Paterson, Marnie,

Thank you for your reply. Allow me to be a little more specific.

As you know, the school in question is St. Margaret Mary's Secondary School. The headteacher of the school at the time instructed an unpromoted member of staff to contact the Community Police operating from Aikenhead Road Police Station, which he did. Two community officers visited the school to speak with the headteacher and the member of staff. The whole-school role provided to the police was discussed and seen by several members of staff, many of whom remain current members of the school staff.

As for the issue with the gas supply: the school was receiving additional gas inspections from qualified gas engineers supplied by Amey due to concerns about gas leaks and the janitors were issued with hand-held monitors to scan the school for gas prior to staff and pupils entering the building each morning following a very serious incident which caused the school to remain closed for the day.

Let us deal with Amey first:

Can you confirm that St. Margaret Mary's Secondary School, Glasgow was closed for a day due to a very serious and dangerous gas leak discovered prior to the school opening that morning?

Can you confirm that Network Gas sent two engineers to assist Amey staff in rectifying the problem and to ensure the integrity of the gas system and the safety of the building?

Can you confirm that Strathclyde Fire Service attended the incident?

Can you confirm that a meeting took place in the school later that same day involving the senior staff of the school, senior staff of Amey and senior council officials to discuss this problem?

Can you confirm that the school, since opening in 2002, had a history of gas leaks?

Can you confirm that the janitors in the school were supplied with hand-held gas detectors to monitor gas levels throughout the school?

Can you confirm that a suspicion that the gas leaks, following various investigative measures, were believed to be deliberate and the work of an individual employee at the school?

Can you confirm that a hidden camera was placed in a Home Economics classroom early in 2006 as a means to catch the suspected culprit?

Can you confirm that Ronnie O'Connor, then Director of Education, and the Regional Director of Amey agreed with a concerned Amey employee that a hidden camera should be used to prevent a potential tragedy happening?

Can you confirm that the camera was supplied, fitted and then removed by Scotshield, the company responsible for the CCTV coverage in Glasgow Schools?

Can you confirm that the Scotshield engineer who put the camera in place was NOT the individual at the time reported to have been "suspended" in the Glasgow press?

Can you confirm the the Scotshield engineer was not suspended because he was instructed by his own employers to install the camera, following a request to do so by Amey?

I shall be making enquiries of Community Police officers at Aikenhead Road Police Station to confirm dates of certain events and shall return to the issue of widespread drug use in the school unless, of course, you feel the information requested is now sufficient to be dealt with as a FOI Request.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Hughes

Paterson, Marnie,

Dear Mr Hughes

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - FOI Request

I refer to your enquiry of 31 January 2013 requesting Glasgow City Council to provide you with the undernoted information.

"Thank you for your reply. Allow me to be a little more specific.

As for the issue with the gas supply: the school was receiving
additional gas inspections from qualified gas engineers supplied by
Amey due to concerns about gas leaks and the janitors were issued
with hand-held monitors to scan the school for gas prior to staff
and pupils entering the building each morning following a very
serious incident which caused the school to remain closed for the
day.

Let us deal with Amey first:

Can you confirm that St. Margaret Mary's Secondary School, Glasgow
was closed for a day due to a very serious and dangerous gas leak
discovered prior to the school opening that morning?

Can you confirm that Network Gas sent two engineers to assist Amey
staff in rectifying the problem and to ensure the integrity of the
gas system and the safety of the building?

Can you confirm that Strathclyde Fire Service attended the
incident?

Can you confirm that a meeting took place in the school later that
same day involving the senior staff of the school, senior staff of
Amey and senior council officials to discuss this problem?

Can you confirm that the school, since opening in 2002, had a
history of gas leaks?

Can you confirm that the janitors in the school were supplied with
hand-held gas detectors to monitor gas levels throughout the
school?

Can you confirm that a suspicion that the gas leaks, following
various investigative measures, were believed to be deliberate and
the work of an individual employee at the school?

Can you confirm that a hidden camera was placed in a Home Economics
classroom early in 2006 as a means to catch the suspected culprit?

Can you confirm that Ronnie O'Connor, then Director of Education,
and the Regional Director of Amey agreed with a concerned Amey
employee that a hidden camera should be used to prevent a potential
tragedy happening?

Can you confirm that the camera was supplied, fitted and then
removed by Scotshield, the company responsible for the CCTV
coverage in Glasgow Schools?

Can you confirm that the Scotshield engineer who put the camera in
place was NOT the individual at the time reported to have been
"suspended" in the Glasgow press?

Can you confirm the the Scotshield engineer was not suspended
because he was instructed by his own employers to install the
camera, following a request to do so by Amey?

I shall be making enquiries of Community Police officers at
Aikenhead Road Police Station to confirm dates of certain events
and shall return to the issue of widespread drug use in the school
unless, of course, you feel the information requested is now
sufficient to be dealt with as a FOI Request."

Please note that we are treating your request as a formal request under Section 1 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

You will be contacted again within 20 working days from the date when your request was received.

Marnie Paterson
Admin Officer
Customer Liaison Unit
Education Services
City Chambers, East
40 John Street
Glasgow G1 1JL
Phone: 287 5384
glasgow.gov.uk

Glasgow - Proud Host City of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Paterson, Marnie,

Can I ask if you require me to be more specific regarding my inquiry about the widespread use of drugs at St. Margaret Mary's or if you now feel that my original request can be treated as a FOI request?

Can I also inquire as to whether you wish to be furnished with the identities of the people involved, or if this would be something that should be withheld from a public site such as this? (Five former pupils are involved and, although the youngest of them is now 17 years old, at the time he was 13 and the oldest of the other pupils was 15 - I doubt very much that you would wish them to be personally identified, but please advise me what you require for my request to be processed.)

Yours sincerely,

Paul Hughes

Paterson, Marnie,

Dear Mr Hughes

As per my undernoted acknowledgement, which has now been logged as a Freedom of Information request and cannot be changed?

Can I reiterate again that the Freedom of Information legislation allows individuals' access to recorded information held by the Council unless exemptions apply, please see the undernoted link to Glasgow City Council's website containing information on the Freedom of Information Act.

I would also like to advise that from what you have supplied below most of this information would be exempt due to Data Protection laws as it involved personal information.

If I can be of any further help to you please contact me, details below.

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?art...

Marnie Paterson
Admin Officer
Customer Liaison Unit
Education Services
City Chambers, East
40 John Street
Glasgow G1 1JL
Phone: 287 5384
glasgow.gov.uk

Glasgow - Proud Host City of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Paterson, Marnie,

Thank you.

I am currently awaiting confirmation of some details and facts and will rephrase my FOI accordingly. I have deliberately avoided including anything that would identify individuals, although I do have one member of staff at the time who is perfectly happy to go on record.

I await your response in respect of Amey and the gas supply issues and will get back to you regarding the issue of drugs misuse prior to going to press.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Hughes

Paterson, Marnie,

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hughes

 

Please find attached Glasgow City Council’s Education Services response to
the above request.

 

 

 

Marnie Paterson

Admin Officer

Customer Liaison Unit

Education Services

City Chambers, East

40 John Street

Glasgow G1 1JL

Phone: 287 5384

glasgow.gov.uk

 

 

 

Glasgow - Proud Host City of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

 

 

Glasgow - Proud host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

More than 11 days of sport www.gameslegacyglasgow.com

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

Dear Glasgow City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Glasgow City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Reported unactioned drug use in a Glasgow Secondary School'.

I believe the response submitted to a legitimate and legal request for information is knowingly untruthful.

Glasgow City Council issued a statement in February 2006 which "condemned the use of a hidden camera" and stating clearly that "permission had not been given for the use of such equipment." GCC denied that there was a history of gas leaks in the school even although Amey issued a statement that not only confirmed this fact but identified that as the purpose of the covert camera being put in place - another fact clearly admitted by them.

Similarly, Amey confirmed that an employee was suspended as a result of placing a covert camera in a classroom of the school in question and confirming that the issue was being investigated "by Amey, the school and Glasgow City Council."

The response from Maureen McKenna is not only absurd but is clearly untruthful. Her assertion that there is no record of any meetings that took place in the face of a situation so dangerous that Network Gas and Strathclyde Fire Service attended is obtuse - clearly,an investigation must have taken place, a cause of the situation must have been at least attempted to be ascertained and if there are no records of these meetings and investigations then I think she should offer an explanation as to why these do not exist.

Similarly, to say she has no record of the fact that a camera was placed in a classroom in the school is absurd: Glasgow City Council confirmed this fact at the time and it was reported in the media with good reason - because it was true.

Is the Executive Director of Education actually suggesting that, in the face of widely reported allegations of this nature, no investigation to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the matter took place? Is she serious in expecting anyone to believe that such a reported issue was not investigated and that steps were not taken to ensure that no recording equipment was placed throughout the school in sensitive areas, ie in places where young people could be in a state of undress?

Does Mrs McKenna not feel that there should be an explanation sought for a lack of records in relation to these matters? Clearly, if no record exists, there has to be a reason for this - is the assertion of former employees that permission to place the camera was both sought and given but that Council officials and the Directors of Amey were cowardly enough to allow one individual to take the blame for the situation, even although he was the only person who had the courage and integrity to address the issue?

For the record, a member of school teaching staff was under suspicion as having been involved in deliberate sabotage of the gas supply system and a member of teaching staff had previously been instructed not to use the test function of the gas supply system. The clear concern is that the culprit may well remain in employment at the school and GCC officials have done nothing to address this concern either in the past or at present.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/re...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Hughes

Customer Care Centre, Glasgow City Council

New Service Request was submitted: RQST00004237385
You can simply reply to this Email, and your reply
will automatically be associated with this Service Request

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Campbell, Catherine(CED), Glasgow City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hughes
 
I refer to your request for a formal review of the decision made in
connection with your Freedom of Information Request and attach herewith an
acknowledgement letter for your information.
 
Regards
 
 
Catherine Campbell
Senior Paralegal
Glasgow City Council
Corporate & Property Law
City Chambers, East Building
23 Montrose Street
GLASGOW
G1 1RE
Phone: 0141 287 4680
E-mail: [email address]
 
 
 

Glasgow - Proud host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

More than 11 days of sport www.gameslegacyglasgow.com

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CED_FOI, Glasgow City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hughes
 
Thank you for your email received on 6 March 2013.
 
Please find attached your response.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Annemarie O'Donnell
Executive Director - Corporate Services
 
 

Glasgow - Proud host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

More than 11 days of sport www.gameslegacyglasgow.com

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Dear CED_FOI,

Can you please identify the specifics of the request that you believe deems it to be an environmental request?

Can you further clarify why identical requests have previously been deemed as FOI requests where the requested information has been provided?

Can you stop procrastinating and supply the requested information please?

Yours sincerely,

Paul Hughes

CED_FOI, Glasgow City Council

Dear Mr Hughes,

Thank you for your email of 9 April 2013. I can confirm that, as your request relates to information on gas emissions, the council considers that your request constitutes a request for "Environmental Information" as defined in section 2(1) of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the "EIRS").

For ease of reference, the EIRS can be accessed at the following link:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2004/5...

You will note that the definition of "Environmental Information" includes "any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on:-

(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere......;

(b) factors such as substances, energy, noise..... emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment referred to in paragraph (a)

It is therefore the Council's view that your request clearly falls within the definition of "Environmental Information". On this basis I am satisfied that your request is being properly dealt with under the EIRs and that the Council was entitled to extend the deadline for responding to your request by a further 20 working days under regulation 7 of the EIRs.

Please note that a response to your request will be issued to you within the 20 working day extension period.

Yours Sincerely

Jennifer Small
Customer Care

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Dear CED_FOI,

This is nonsense - the request clearly identifies, as you are very well aware, the fact that a member of staff at the school in question was suspected of deliberately sabotaging the gas supply system and that Glasgow City Council Education Department engaged in covering this fact up - there is no "environmental issue" regarding this and I repeat: you have previously dealt with aspects of this very same request as a simple FOI request. For the record, I now have documentary evidence which shows clearly that a previous response to a legitimate FOI request signed off by Maureen McKenna was untruthful, and knowingly so. Please desist from further procrastination and provide the requested information.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Hughes

CED_FOI, Glasgow City Council

8 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hughes

 

Thank you for your correspondence which was received by the council on 6
March 2013.

 

Please find attached our response.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Annemarie O'Donnell

Executive Director - Corporate Services

 

 

Glasgow - Proud host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

More than 11 days of sport www.gameslegacyglasgow.com

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