Lowe heads up Bailey Gwynn death inquiry

Bailey Gwynne with a knife at Cults Academy in October last year.

Bailey Gwynne with a knife at Cults Academy in October last year.

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A former director of social work in the Borders is to lead an independent investigation into the death of Aberdeen teenager Bailey Gwynne.

Andrew Lowe will chair the review which has been commissioned by Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian and Police Scotland and is expected to last six months.

Andrew Lowe has been appointed to lead the independent review into the circumstances surrounding the death of school boy Bailey Gwynne.

Andrew Lowe has been appointed to lead the independent review into the circumstances surrounding the death of school boy Bailey Gwynne.

His appointment was confirmed after a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty at Aberdeen High Court last week of culpable homicide.

Bailey was stabbed with a knife at Cults Academy in October last year. “We all want to learn the lessons from this terrible event and the findings of the review will be published and widely shared,” said Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing.

“Andrew Lowe will now work over the coming months to examine all the facts.”Mr Lowe, who lives in Innerleithen with his wife Ruth, is currently the independent chair of child and adult protection for Renfrewshire and is a director of LoweZone Consulting which advises on social work commissioning.

He retired from his £103,000-a-year job as social work director for Scottish Borders Council at the end of 2013 on health grounds, having suffered a heart attack the previous year.

A graduate of Dundee University, Mr Lowe worked for local authorities in Fife, Tayside and Nottingham before being appointed director of social work at Newtown in November, 2004.

He inherited a department mired in controversy.

A year earlier, the previous permanent incumbent had resigned before the damning findings of a report were released into the case of social work client Miss X, a Borders woman with learning difficulties who was tortured by three men in 2002.

Mr Lowe undertook a major restructuring of the social work department, appointing new heads of services with responsibility for social care and health, housing and community justice, and integrated children’s services.

When he retired, SBC chief executive Tracey Logan said he had made “a massive contribution to social work at every level and his influence and contribution at a national level will continue for a long time.”