An article on Dougal Greig (11 January) begins: “An eccentric teacher who founded his own private school left a £2.4 million fortune in his will.”
This implies some connection between the school’s finances and the value of Mr Greig’s estate. There was no such connection. Moreover, he did not found “his own private school”. It was (as your article states) established by three people and it was on the invitation of his co-founders that he took on the headship.
We were dismayed to read that “it has now emerged that the former head teacher, who lived in Edinburgh, had an estate worth £2,428,929 when he died”.
Use of the phrase, “it has now emerged”, suggests something underhand and conveys the impression, we hope inadvertently, that Mr Greig and his co-founders developed the school in order to profit financially.
In fact, although independent, the school was only “private” in the sense that its pupils were privately educated. It was registered as a charitable company, limited by guarantee, and run by an elected board of governors.
Our fear is that former parents of Rannoch pupils will draw the conclusion from your article that Dougal Greig’s personal wealth was in some way derived from funds that came to him personally from the school. Nothing could be further from the truth. All staff, including the headmaster, were paid only salaries – if in fact they took a full salary at all– often at well below the going rate.
During Mr Greig’s tenure of appointment all funds other than salaries were used to help the school grow. When, long after he retired, the school closed in 2002 and the buildings and grounds were sold to a developer, the entire funds were paid to the administrators appointed on behalf of the school’s creditors.
Neither Dougal Greig nor either of his co-founders received any money from the sale.
Widow of John Fleming, co-founder of Rannoch School
Former governor and pupil
David and Sally Barry
(Dr) Alan Beaton
Andrew Hamilton FCA CTA Dip PFS