Racist blog leaves childcare manager's career in ruins

A CHILDCARE centre manager behind a racist internet blog has been found guilty of misconduct by the care workers' watchdog.

Helen McClymont also leaked confidential information about children in her care on her daily blog, called "Helen's Life".

Now, the care manager faces being banned from working with children after an inquiry found she showed "ingrained attitudes of prejudice and racism".

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On her web page she ranted about Muslims, saying that "they smell of curry and have a stupid religion".

The childcare worker, manager of Steelrings day care centre for children in Paisley, also posted racist remarks about Italians, Venezuelans and black people, while working at the centre earlier this year.

She also breached confidentiality of children who attended Steelrings, and made "derogatory remarks about the children, parents of children and members of staff of the service".

At a misconduct hearing at the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) in Dundee last month, it was revealed that Ms McClymont admitted making the comments on her blog, but denied that it amounted to misconduct.

The hearing was told that Ms McClymont - who admitted her guilt in a statement of facts and did not appear to defend herself in person - wrote on her blog: "Most people who know me well, know that I don't like Muslim people. They smell of curry and have a stupid religion."

She also derided Italians as "people who make ice-creams and work in fish 'n chip shops".

Now her career appears to be in ruins, as she faces being struck off after the misconduct hearing panel, under convener Margaret McAllister, this week found her guilty of misconduct and ordered her removal from the care workers' register.

The ruling states: "The sub-committee evaluated the seriousness of misconduct. It considered that there were several elements that placed the conduct towards the upper end of any scale of seriousness.

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"These included the publication of personal information, including derogatory comments about service users under the registrant's care - in this instance, on social media - which could be accessed by a third party, was a fundamental breach of trust.

"This amounted to unsafe practice and a potential failure to protect and safeguard the people in the registrant's care, and of course, a breach of confidence.

"The registrant had exhibited apparently ingrained attitudes of prejudice and racism. These attitudes are fundamentally incompatible with the core values of the registered caring professions."Taken together, the registrant's actions had the potential of bringing the profession into disrepute and undermining public confidence in the profession."

The ruling added: "The decision of the sub-committee was to make an order for the removal of the registrant's registration in the register for managers of day care of children services maintained by the SSSC.

"A warning was felt to be insufficiently strong to mark the seriousness of the misconduct."

During the hearing in Dundee, presenter of the SSSC case, Lindsay Thomson, said: "This blog was in the public domain… this was not a personal diary or letter, or conversation with someone in the street."

Ms McClymont has 14 days to appeal the decision.