The Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter has reported Terry Lanagan, West Dunbartonshire Council’s head of educational services, made the remarks during a start of term speech to teachers.
It is also claimed that during the pre-recorded speech Mr Lanagan, pictured above left, also boasted about the council’s Facebook reach compared to local newspapers – including the Reporter, the Clydebank Post and the Lennox Herald.
In March the leader of the authority, Cllr Martin Rooney, took to the social networking site to claim “constant negative stories” about the council by the Reporter were to blame for the newspaper’s falling sales.
In response, Reporter editor Henry Ainslie invited Cllr Rooney to guest edit an edition of the paper.
He said: “It says a lot about Mr Lanagan’s attitude to openness and accountability when he tells people to seek information about his services from a source which he presumably controls.
“When the First Minister herself (Nicola Sturgeon) acknowledges there is not enough information about children’s progress in both primary and secondary schools, I wonder if Mr Lanagan has got something to hide.
“I hope the Dumbarton Reporter continues to subject the performance of area’s schools and their director to close scrutiny.
“It will be the only way to find out what’s really going on.”
A spokesman for the council said: “Executive Director Terry Lanagan delivered a 23 minute update to all education staff to welcome them back for the 2015/16 academic year.
“He used 38 seconds of this message to reflect on the fact that the council’s nationally recognised improvements were at times not reflected in the local press.
“On the positive the council’s Facebook page was now promoting this progress to a weekly audience bigger than the circulation of all the local newspapers combined.
“We are sorry if this information caused distress to one of our 1,670 education staff.”