Saturday 24 October 2009

HMIe to investigate school support unit in Portree

An additional support needs unit at a school on Skye is to be investigated by HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) following complaints from parents, handled by Govan Law Centre.

Allegations include claims that one pupil was forced to do excessive levels of physical exercise, contrary to medical advice.

Parents of three children attending the unit at Portree High School contacted Govan Law Centre, which notified the Scottish Government through a statutory complaints mechanism. The Scottish Government has asked HMIE to visit the school to investigate the claims.

GLC's Iain Nisbet felt the nature of the complaints was such that they should be referred to the Scottish Government.

He welcomed the action taken by ministers. "The legislation allows Scottish ministers to investigate and intervene in cases where there has been any breach of education law,".

"Because we had been approached by a number of parents from the same school, we felt it was appropriate to alert the Scottish Government to these ongoing concerns.

"I am very pleased to see the prompt and effective response of the government and will await the report by HMIE with interest."

A government spokesman said: "Ministers have asked HMIE to visit the Portree High School special needs unit following concerns raised through the Govan Law Centre.

"HMIE will report back to the Scottish government by the end of November when consideration will be given to whether any further action, if required, should be taken."

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