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Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 21 June 2006

I present a petition from my constituent, Mr. George Hamilton, of Tweedmouth. Mr. Hamilton was employed by Borders regional council as an assistant head teacher at Duns primary school for 12 years. Subsequent to that employment, in 1988 he applied for a teaching post elsewhere but was unsuccessful. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 he has obtained the file on his case held by the local authority. It includes the reference sent by the assistant director of education to the head of the school to which he had applied, and other documents. He challenges and objects strongly to statements in those documents and to the terms of the reference.

The petition states:

Wherefore your Petitioner prays that your honourable House will urge the Government to introduce legislation requiring a former employer, named as a referee, to provide an accurate, balanced and fair reference;

That any allusion to the former employee must not be vague;

And that all statements, if challenged, must be substantiated by the former employee’s personal records, accurately and truthfully compiled.

And your Petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.