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Disturbing theme of ‘cruelty’ emerges from filmed interviews

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With filming nearing completion, the ‘Mud Sticks’ team have been reviewing 60+ hours of footage for their forthcoming documentary which tells the story of what happened to the school between December 2016 and the final closure in November 2018.

Treehouse Productions which is undertaking this massive task have pointed-out that the story is not yet over and that events since then must also be documented.

The film has attracted interest not only from the UK but acoss the globe with many American support groups expressing horror at the corruption that led to the school’s demise, and their disbelief that vulnerable children could have been subjected to such cruelty in a ‘developed country’ such as Scotland.

Previews of the footage suggest that a number of key themes will emerge, including;

  1. The skills present at TNS in addressing the needs of pupils with autism and anxiety disorders

  2. The care and support provided by a dedicated staff team

  3. Failings at local authority level leading to placement requests for TNS and the fight required to get an education for children through the tribunal system

  4. The conviction that the school was targeted by PKC after the tragic suicide in February 2017 in order to cover-up local authority decision-making, and how PKC and the Care Inspectorate worked together to bring the school down

  5. The faked inspection reports, staged ‘child protection investigation’ and unjustifiable staff suspensions and improvement notice (see news update)

  6. The brutality of the final week when PKC officers overuled decisions of school managers and caused such distress to pupils (see detailed staff account)

  7. The betrayal by Witherslack and cowardice/incompetence of the school governors

  8. The incompetence and dishonesty of PKC officers in the months following closure

Memorable quotes from the interviews include;

  • “The people who made these decisons must be very sick”

  • “The closure was shocking. It was Stalinist in its cruelty”

  • “PKC officers appear ot be incapable of telling the truth”

  • “The people running the school were deliberately cruel towards vulnerable kids”

  • “They ran it like a concentration camp. Cold, uncaring, unfeeling, and cruel”

  • “God help us now that we are back with the authority. All those years of work will now be destroyed”

The main challenge for the production team will now be in selecting what to include in the final film and what to exclude.

The first sceeening of ’Mud Sticks’ will be at an international film festival with local events planned for late summer/autumn. Please visit here to help fund the project.

Bill Colley