Sudden school closure leaves vulnerable pupils without education

According to the BBC, a school in Scotland’s sudden closure has left 24 pupils displaced and without many viable alternatives

A school’s sudden closure has led to over 20 children with autism and anxiety issues without an education.

New School Butterstone in Perth and Kinross closed in November. Parents were given just four days’ notice of the occurrence.

Two months later, 24 children still have no replacement to attend. The local council is preparing an empty school to replace it.

New School Butterstone offered boarding and day places for children who struggle in mainstream classes. Some families fought to secure funding for years in order to attend the school but, when a buyer backed out of a deal to take on the school, it was forced to close suddenly.

Besides revamping the disused Forteviet Primary School – which parents claim is unsuitable – options include home schooling or to make a placing request at another independent school.

Parents group chair, Susan Briggs, said: “That plan has had no input from the parents. It hasn’t taken our views or the children’s views into account.

“The building is near a road and a railway line, which we have concerns about. And we know nothing about the staff who would be employed there.

“The children have been badly let down. They’ve not been listened to. Their rights have not been met,” she added.

“For the past two months they’ve been sitting at home. That’s no good for them, their mental health is suffering.

“They’re isolated, they’re lonely and there’s been nothing put in place.”

A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council, said: “Following the board of governors’ decision to close The New School Butterstone at short notice late last year, we have been working with individual young people and their families to find the most suitable education and care provision which best meets their needs.

“Providing an educational base at the Forteviot Primary School building is part of the longer term interim arrangements being offered to families.

“Other options include making a placing request to an alternative school, such as an independent or residential school, or supporting home education, if either of these options were considered most appropriate for the individual young people.”

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