In order to demonstrate transparency, the school has agreed to list here all incidents and failings that might be considered as sub-optimal in terms of overall performance;
During the period February 2017-May 2018, the school did not update the child protection policy that had been regarded as “fine” in 2017, to include clauses on ‘radicalisation’ and ‘child sexual exploitation’. The school provided the Care Inspectorate with a copy of the child protection policy in March 2018 and asked for approval, but the CI did not respond. Education Scotland were involved in visits to the school but did not highlight any need to change the policy.
There was a 9 working day delay in reporting an allegation of inappropriate touch between 2 autistic pupils (Dec 2017/Jan 2018). Perth & Kinross Council ‘investigated’ the incident but failed to respond to repeated requests for information about the outcome until 7 months after the incident was said to have occurred. The failure to provide information caused great distress to the family of the young person identified.
Perth & Kinross Council alleged that the school had failed to follow its child protection guidelines. An investigation by the SSSC proved that this was not the case. The school allege that the officer from PKC pre-judged a CP concern by stating that she believed that, “it had probably happened” and in doing so acted contrary to all national child protection guidance. No evidence has emerged that any CP incident took place.
The school contacted a parent to explain that a residential pupil did not wish to spend the weekend with his other parent. The social work department (not P&K) claimed that this should have been regarded as a child protection matter. They concluded that it was not. The school discussed such matters with the parent council and explained the dilemmas that are sometimes faced, and the fact that the school has no option but to report matters, even if this will lead to harm to the child and the family.
A pupil who had to leave the school following the death in February 2017 did not have her belongings returned to her as quickly as they should have been. The school at the time was struggling with the volume of paperwork and visits, and the loss of the Head of Education. It was a mistake and it was fair that the complaint was upheld.
The Head of School and Head of Care adjudged a note written by a member of staff to be about professional practice and not child protection. The Care Inspectorate stated that it was a child protection matter. 2 investigations proved that the member of staff was not raising a child protection matter, that there were no allegations, that children felt safe and happy in school and that school managers had been correct. The differences of opinion between the local child protection unit and the Care Inspectorate led directly to the closure of the school.
The following table is a list of significant incidents in school between January 2018 and the closure of the school. The final events relate to the same incident.
As far as we are aware, there have been no failures to follow child protection guidelines in school in the period February 2017 until the school closure. No complaint against the school for failing to adhere to the policy has been upheld.
There have been no disciplinary measures taken against school managers as a result of their actions.