“FURTHER lines of inquiry” have been identified in the investigation into how Scottish Borders Council (SBC) dealt with concerns raised about one of its teachers.

Linda McCall, of Earlston, was found guilty of assaulting five pupils in her care between August 2016 and October 2017.

An independent inquiry has been launched into how SBC dealt with concerns from parents at the time, with the council’s internal investigation finding no wrongdoing.

It had been hoped that the findings of the inquiry, led by Andrew Webster QC, would be presented at a full council meeting on Thursday (November 25).

However, SBC chief executive Netta Meadows announced that it had been delayed until the new year after further lines of inquiry were identified.

Reading out a letter from Mr Webster to the meeting, Ms Meadows explained that 28 parents, current and former council employees and other interested parties had been interviewed as part of the process.

“The interviews have identified further lines of enquiry which are presently in hand,” Ms Meadows read aloud from the letter.

“At present those lines of inquiry suggest that I will need to speak again to certain interviewees and make further investigations into the documentary record.

“Looking forward, allowing for those further investigations and the drawing of conclusions, and in anticipation that certain individuals may need to be provided with an opportunity to consider any factual conclusions, I do not consider it feasible that the inquiry can fairly be reported before the end of January.”

Mr Webster is aiming to formally present the findings “shortly thereafter”, in absence of any “material and exceptional circumstances”.

Ms Meadows expressed her intention to organise “additional special meetings” of the council to discuss the report.