Just words


Timeline of Significant Events


This is the basic story as we know it thus far (precise dates to be added). A more detailed chronology can be found here (to be updated).

December 19th 2016 Iain Guthrie takes his own life in Perth

February 20th 2017 Young Person (17) takes his own life in school 3 days after being informed PKC will not fund his placement for next session

September 2017 Senior Management Team at PKC meet to discuss response to death. Education officers begin to display increasing hostility towards the school.

Education Scotland informed that most TNS pupils should be in mainstream and that TNS is too expensive.

October 2017 Head of School accuses education officers of:

  • Misrepresenting the school at multi-agency meetings

  • Verbal aggression (complaint upheld)

  • Demanding that meeting minutes be changed after the meetings

  • Dishonestly representing meetings he has attended (he insists that all meetings with PKC offiers be audio-taped)

  • Reneging on an agreement about new placements

January 2018 PKC lodge complaint with Registrar of Independent Schools. School respond that claims are factually incorrect. Registrar fails to make a judgement.

Investigation by Care Inspectorate demonstrates that child protection guidelines were followed at all times, contrary to PKC claim.

March 2018 School send child protection policy to Care Inspectorate for review. They fail to answer.

School send a list of queries regarding disability and child protection to Care Inspectorate. They fail to respond.

April 2018 New Head appointed with threat of closure due to financial difficulties originating with the death of young person in 2017

May 2018 Head of School approached Witherslack Group

Double inspection (Care Inspectorate/Education Scotland). Findings described as “bizarre” by Head of School

Inspecting officer tells Head of School that most pupils should be in mainstream.

Inspecting officer tells staff that 2 members of the school are suicide risks. Head of School determines that this is untrue. No apology.

Care Inspectorate raise concerns about staff member. School ask for details. CI fail to answer.

Karen Reid, Head of the Care Inspectorate, joins PKC as Chief Executive.

Bernadette Malone, Chief Executive of PKC, joins Care Inspectorate board.

June 2018 Witherslack begin negotiations. Describe actions of P&K as, “arse-covering” for death of young person

August 2018 Witherslack sign management and takeover agreement. Begin oversight of school and take on management responsibilities.

September 2018 Disciplinary proceedings against staff member - appeal heard by Witherslack. Staff member raises concern against other staff members.

October 2018 On returning from 2 week holiday, school informed that staff concern about professional practice is a child protection matter.

Independent investigation proves that staff concern was not a child protection matter.

November 2018 Although school cleared of wrongdoing, Care Inspectorate issue an improvement notice. Head of school suspended. Witherslack withdraw.

Whilst Head of School is suspended, Care Inspectorate force Board of Governors to announce closure of the school.

School closes. Final week managed by PKC/Care Inspectorate/Education Scotland. School staff accuse them of child cruelty.

Head of school returns to work. All allegations shown to be unfounded. No disciplinary action taken.