THE findings into how Scottish Borders Council (SBC) dealt with allegations of pupils being assaulted by one of its teachers will be heard in private.

Linda McCall, of Earlston, was convicted of assaulting five vulnerable children in her care between August 2016 and October 2017.

Despite complaints from parents, the teacher was initially cleared of any wrongdoing through an internal investigation conducted by the council.

But the families persisted and McCall was found guilty at a Selkirk Sheriff Court trial of assaulting five pupils aged between five and seven years old while employed by the local authority.

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Following the conviction, SBC launched an independent inquiry – led by one of Scotland’s most experienced legal figures, Andrew Webster QC – into how it dealt with concerns raised about McCall.

Mr Webster has now concluded his findings which he is set to present at a full council meeting today (February 17) – but neither the public nor media will be able to attend.

On the inquiry, SBC chief executive Netta Meadows said: “I received a copy of Andrew Webster QC’s report over the weekend, following the conclusion of his independent inquiry.

“The report was shared with elected members on Monday to allow them the opportunity to digest the report ahead of Mr Webster presenting his findings and recommendations to full council on Thursday (February 17) – the earliest date this meeting could take place.”

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An SBC spokesperson said the council is unable to comment further until the report and recommendations have been “fully considered and discussed”.

The three-hour meeting is the only item on the agenda.

Previous updates on the inquiry have been held in a public forum, with Ms Meadows announcing in November that “further lines of inquiry” had been identified after Mr Webster had interviewed parents, current and former council employees and other interested parties.

The presentation of the findings of the inquiry had been earmarked for that November meeting – but it was delayed in order to explore those new avenues.