Thursday, 16 April 2020

"It's Only Taxpayer Money" Pt 78915328794

The Anderson School in Chigwell was opened in September 2017 by charity the National Autistic Society (NAS). It said it would offer a specialist environment for 50 secondary pupils with high-functioning autism, to get GCSEs.
Councils in east London and Essex pay the NAS £42,000 a year for every pupil, rising to around £75,000 with ‘extras’ such as one-to-one teaching and therapy.
It would probably be cheaper to send them to Eton!
But up to 20 youngsters, many of whom have nowhere else to go, have been removed or pulled out by parents in two years amid a catalogue of allegations.
In November 2019 Ofsted conducted an emergency inspection and found The Anderson School was failing to meet crucial standards.
Shocker! What do the councils have to say?
A Newham Council spokeswoman said: “The council has placed one pupil at the Anderson School and we do not intend to place any more pupils there, unless concerns raised by Ofsted are addressed to their satisfaction.
“The cost for the child there is approx. £58,000. Officers have been in regular contact with the child’s parents, both by telephone and in person.”
Hmmm... so what's the issue?
Parents who spoke to the Recorder claimed police were being repeatedly called to the site to deal with disturbances.
Youngsters with autism have been able to escape into Luxborough Lane, parents said, where a bridge passes over the M11, and also to climb onto the roof of the purpose-built site. They also claimed students have also been locked in rooms for hours by allegedly untrained staff for their own safety, and abandoned on school trips, including at Fairlop Water.
Two students have attempted suicide since September 2017. In both cases their parents claimed their experiences at the school had made things worse.
Ah. One for the Charity Commission to investigate as well, I think?


Fahrenheit211 said...

Did you notice, as I did in the original Newham Recorder story that one incident involved a man from a violent culture behaving violently towards the inmates at this school and yet walking away with a derisory 80 hours community service?

I appreciate that those children with high functioning autistic spectrum disorders sometimes need specialist education. However, I wonder if it could have been delivered better and at a lower price than what the Autistic Society and those who spend public money like a drunken sailor on shore are spending?

Feral said...

At least the intentions were good. There does need to be specialist schools for the less abled but they need to be run by strong and competent individuals. It is extremely hard work but can be done. I would question the amount of money that it costs every child though. For the amount that's being spent, these young people should be thriving. It's a case of getting the right management and staff in.

The Jannie said...

Don't fret. When that facility isn't available they'll continue to pour money down the the remedial/ special needs / inclusion/ insert this week's groovy title / departments at their local comprehensives. From what I saw working in schools for twenty years they achieve minimal gains at maximum expense.

Fahrenheit211 said...

To The Jannie. I used to live in a godawful Labour run place that went down the inclusion route and shut down all their special schools despite the protests of the parents whose children went to these special schools. The result seemed to be as bad as many predicted with more money being spent on a worse service, some children not getting the help that they needed and other special needs children being bullied or exploited by the more nasty mainstream children.

JuliaM said...

"...and yet walking away with a derisory 80 hours community service?"

I'd love to see just what these 'community penalties' actually mean in practice.

"At least the intentions were good."

It seems as if the better the intentions, the worse the eventual outcome.

" From what I saw working in schools for twenty years they achieve minimal gains at maximum expense."

*sighs* I believe you.

"...went down the inclusion route and shut down all their special schools ..."

Like comprehensive education itself, it seems the worst idea ever. And so it turned out.