TNS closed as part of PKC cost-cutting
More evidence is emerging to support the view of school staff that TNS was closed-down as part of a planned campaign involving PKC officers, the Care Inspectorate, and Education Scotland.
In his filmed interview, Head of School, Bill Colley, indicates that school managers had been aware of the hostility of PKC for several months before the May 2018 ‘inspections’ but began to appreciate that CI and ES were involved only when their ‘bizarre’ and ‘illogical’ findings were published later that summer.
He explained that standards applied to TNS were unique and not being used with similar providers, and that the Improvement Notice imposed on the school at the time of closure was ‘incompetent’.
He has reiterated his demands for a full independent investigation but fears that Education Minister John Swinney will block this because it would expose serious shortcomings at CI, ES, PKC, and with the Registrar of Independent Schools.
The recently published PKC budget shows how much pressure the authority is under but also raises fresh concerns that they will manage ASN budgets by simply not providing schooling for pupils with autism and anxiety disorders. As such, they will be failing in their statutory obligations but parents have few options to challenge any failure to provide an education and this lack of rights is encouraging authorities to turn a blind eye to pupil needs.
Mr Colley stated that, “It is well-known across the sector that if you want to close down a school, fabricating allegations of safeguarding deficiencies is the easiest way. The immense cost to pupils, families and dedicated staff of the school closure is just regarded as ‘collateral damage’ and will not cause any sleepless nights to the authority officers who have done so much harm”.
Parents and staff remain determined to force Education Minister, John Swinney, to agree to an independent investigation, and a fund-raising campaign to support the release of a documentary about the school closure will begin at the end of the month. The production company believes that the film will have a significant impact at national and international level and may influence the outcome of the next Parliamentary elections.