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Not allowed to say goodbye

Pupils at TNS were not permitted to say goodbye to their friends or to the trusted members of staff who had supported them.

For young people who had often struggled to build relationships, this final act of cruelty was hugely damaing and in direct contravention of their human rights.

According to staff present during the final week of term, the so-called advisers sent in by Perth & Kinross Council, the Care Inspectorate, and Education Scotland, insisted on pupils being segregated, taken off-site and then sent home with no warning, and even in 2 harrowing cases, being sent home with less than an hours warning accompanied by people they had never met before.

Neither pupils not their families were allowed any say in what happened, and experienced members of staff were ignored when they tried to reduce the pain of the trauma that young people were experiencing.

Even those who just 2 days before were being given the freedom and independence to devlop skills in coping with forthcoming moves to college or away from school had to be chaperoned on a 1:1 basis, and a long-planned service to celebarte pupil achievements was cancelled to the bitter disappointment of those who had practiced their musical instruments for hours in preparation.

After the closure of the school, 3 members of staff tried to report the behaviour of the advisers as abusive but stated that they did not know who to report this to as there is no guidance on how to do so when the regulators themselves ahve been identified as the alleged perpetrators.

The final week was a tragic reminder of why local authority education is failing, and why so many parents chose TNS ahead of anything available to them in the local area.

Those responsible have not been reported nor their actions investigated.

That is, perhaps, the biggest irony of all.

Bill Colley