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(UK) Plymouth: Special school rated poor; 'staff subject to physical assault'

May 11, 2021, Plymouth Live: Mount Tamar School in Plymouth slammed by Ofsted and head teacher leaves

SW England

A Plymouth school for children with additional needs has been slammed in a harrowing Ofsted report following a visit from the education watchdog. Inspectors found staff at Mount Tamar School are at times subject to physical assault and its current restraint policy is 'inadequate', as pupils felt unsafe and believed that restraint "is used as a punishment" to "hurt them deliberately". Ofsted visited the Row Lane school in Higher St Budeaux on March 17 and 18 this year, after concerns were raised in regards to safeguarding and the effectiveness of leadership and management at the school, including governance. During the two-day visit inspectors found the school's restraint policy could be "potentially dangerous", adding that it must develop a process for recording the use of physical restraint "that is fit for purpose and contributes to managing pupils' behaviour more effectively". The report, which was published on May 11, also stated the behaviour of pupils had "deteriorated rapidly", which resulted in a "high" number of pupils being excluded from the school. Poor behaviour was also noted and is said to put "pupils and staff increasingly at risk". Verbal abuse of staff is also reported to be common, "and at times staff are subject to physical assault". … Inspectors said both pupils and staff were unsafe, due to the "extremely weak culture" of safeguarding, both in terms of policy and practice. The report states that "leadership throughout the school, including governance, is poor" and that leaders and governors "do not provide the support required to develop a culture where pupils and staff are kept safe". The community special school - which cares for 110 young people aged five to 16 with communication and interaction difficulties, autism and social, emotional and mental health difficulties - is being supported by education specialists, Plymouth City Council, external partners and other local special schools….


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