Andrew Lowe has today (11 March 2016) been appointed as the Independent Reviewer to lead the ‘Independent multi-agency review into the circumstances surrounding the death of Bailey Gwynne’.
Following the tragic death at Cults Academy in October 2015 and the conclusion of the trial in the High Court in Aberdeen on Monday 7 March 2016, the principal public agencies with an interest in the issues raised by the case announced their intention to commission an independent review.
The agencies together wish to identify any lessons that can be learnt to inform future practice.
The outcomes of the review will be published in September 2016 and will also be shared with all appropriate agencies.
Mr Lowe is the Independent Chair of Child Protection and the Independent Chair ofAdult Protection for Renfrewshire and the chair of the Glasgow Public Social Partnership for Learning Disability.
He originally trained for a career in law and worked in it from 1973 until he moved to Scotland in 1974 where he began his social work career with Fife County.
Mr Lowe qualified at Dundee University in 1979 and worked for Tayside Region as a social worker for Strathmartine Hospital (learning disabilities).
Moving to England in 1982, he set up community mental health teams and England’s first patients’ councils in psychiatric hospitals. He became Area Director for Rushcliffe where he managed the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy.
He moved to Nottingham City Council as Assistant Director of Adult Services. He was appointed as Director of Social Work for Scottish Borders Council in 2004. In 2006, Andrew was invited by the-then Scottish Executive to chair the Changing Lives Practice Governance change programme. He led work on the guidance on the role of the Chief Social Work Officer, the registered social worker and developed a practice governance framework.
Mr Lowe was elected as President of the Association of Directors of Social Work in May 2011 and served on the Bill Advisory Group for the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill chaired by Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil MSP and the Early Years Taskforce chaired by Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell MSP.
He retired from Scottish Borders Council in November 2013 and established the consultancy LoweZone in 2014; contracts have included reviewing the social work function in an island authority, conducting a significant case review in a large urban authority; reviewing practice governance and preparing for inspection in another.
Mr Lowe was part of the Reference Group to the National Review of Primary Care Out-of-Hours Services 2015. He has also provided expert testimony for the Scottish Social Services Council. Andrew is an external reviewer with HIQA , the Health Information and Quality Authority in Ireland.