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(UK) Suffolk: Sped/autism school has overuse of restraint on "severe/profound" disabled

Sept 26, 2022, Guardian: Ofsted raises concerns over use of restraints on pupils in special needs school

SE England

Concerns over the use of physical restraint on pupils with complex special educational needs at a school in Suffolk have been raised by inspectors in a highly critical report.

Warren school in Lowestoft, which caters for pupils aged three to 19 who have a wide range of complex special educational needs and disabilities, was judged “inadequate” in all areas and put into special measures after inspection by Ofsted, the schools watchdog for England.

Inspectors said safeguarding arrangements at the school were not effective, adding: “There has been a very high use of physical restraint for pupils with some of the most complex needs.”

Inspectors said risk assessment and behaviour management at the school have also been poor. “This has not helped to reduce the high use of physical restraint. This does not create a safe and calm learning environment for pupils and staff.”

Most of the 124 pupils at Warren School, which is part of the Believe Engage Succeed Trust (Best), have multiple, severe or profound learning difficulties, and there is also a high proportion of autistic pupils.

Staff told inspectors who visited the school in June they did not feel adequately trained to keep all pupils safe. Some said they had raised “numerous” concerns about pupils’ safety, which were not addressed….

According to Ofsted, inspectors look at the use of restraint when inspecting any school, but it is used more frequently in some special schools, though there is nothing to suggest it is happening more regularly.

The headteacher, Neil Hutchinson, said: “As a school, we share the disappointment that our parent body feel when reading the recently published Ofsted report. When a school is inspected, it provides an opportunity for reflection and reaction….


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