Why has it gone so badly wrong for PKC?
We revealed earlier this week that the ‘centre of excellence’ touted in December 2018 as a replacement for TNS, and financed with £150,000 of taxpayers money, has been a complete flop with only 1 former pupil attending on a temporary basis.
The reasons for this PR disaster appear to be clear.
There was no leadership in the aftermath of the TNS closure. No-one took responsibility or gained the trust of parents.
Almost all parents were lied to at some point by PKC officers and lost confidence in the authority.
PKC officers appear to have a very weak understanding of additional support needs, and in particular, autism.
The cruelty displayed by PKC officers in the final week is seared into the memories of all pupils, parents and former staff. Some are displaying trauma associated with the brutality of the decision-making during those 4 days and the lack of humanity shown towards the school community.
Parents were well aware that TNS closed after a long campaign by PKC and the Care Inspectorate and will never forgive the authority for the harm they inflicted on a very successful and caring school.
PKC can never replicate what was on offer at TNS. They do not have the skills or understanding to build a successful school community.
PKC had a great opportunity to demonstrate what they could do to meet the needs of children and young people but the whole Forteviot fiasco has instead highlighted just how poor they are at making provision for pupils under their care.
With a new service soon to resume on the site of the former school, John Swinney, PKC and the regulators will be hoping this whole embarrassing episode will come to a swift conclusion.
But not one parent involved in the campaign for a full independent investigation will let this rest. Too much harm has been done for that to be the case. Too many lessons need to be learned. And there are too many heads yet to roll.