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(UK) Norfolk: Parents say special school is failing ASD students

Feb 12, 2021, Eastern Daily Press: Parents say Norfolk special school is 'failing their children'
(Eastern England) Thirteen parents have teamed up to raise concerns that an "inadequate" Norfolk special school is "failing to meet pupils' needs". The parents, whose children have complex autism disorders, say their concerns relate to high staff turnover and a 'lack of professionalism' among executive management at Acorn Park independent residential and day school in Banham.... The school says many of the complaints outlined by parents had already been investigated, and that an improvement “action plan” was well underway. APS, which provides specialist care for pupils with autism, Asperger's and related disabilities via local authority placement, currently has 82 pupils in its care. Annual fees for day pupils, paid by local councils, start at £62,500. [$86,657 U.S.] According to dissatisfied parents, none of whom want to be named while their child remains at the APS, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils must do more to hold the school's leadership to account. Suffolk council has, however, suspended new placements to the school…. Another Suffolk parent said she felt the £140,000 [$194K] fees Suffolk County Council pays for their child’s placement at APS were being squandered. She said: “There’s so many parents that feel this way, and the ones who have come forward are a fraction of the total because many were scared to speak out. The school is failing our children." Two ex-staff members were also featured in Ms Willicott's report. Both, who have now left, said the senior executive leadership were "dismissive" of staff and parental views, and that EHCPs were not followed rigorously enough.


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