Teacher felt forced to end panel duty

Colin Davidson with Children's Minister Aileen Campbell.
Colin Davidson with Children's Minister Aileen Campbell.

A LONG-time children’s panel member says he’s standing down from the role under pressure from his employer, Fife Council.

Teacher Colin Davidson has been recognised for completing 20 years’ service to the panel after, he says, feeling forced to leave the children’s welfare body.

Local man Mr Davidson told the Mail he wanted to continue in the role but was “no longer supported” by his employer in being given time to carry out his duties.

He added: “I accept this award on behalf of my Levenmouth and north east Fife Panel colleagues if they have only served for one or 20 years, as you work as a team in difficult situations, not on your own.

“It has been a privilege and a humbling experience working with local families and one I did not want to end, but the choice was not mine to make. I wish my colleagues well in the future.”

Mr Davidson told the Mail he regretted his need to stand down from the panel, particularly given his level of experience and years devoted to it.

Authorities in the main do allow staff time away from their workplace to carry out duties such as the panel.

Territorial Army commitments and volunteer fire service membership is known to be supported by council bodies.

In response to Mr Davidson’s suggestion that he was no longer being given the support he needs to carry out his duties by his employer, Fife Council’s head of education (central), Bryan Kirkcaldy, said the authority does not comment on individual employees.

But he added that staff involvement in projects such as the panel were supported.

He said: “We do allow time off and encourage employees to participate in the children’s panel.

“Such involvement has to be balanced with the duties of their job.”