Three specialist residential schools in Doncaster are to be investigated by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.
Fullerton House, Wilsic Hall and Wheatley House specialist, independent residential schools are to be subjected to a national investigation by the Panel following allegations of abuse.
Annie Hudson, Chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, outlined plans for the investigation to commence in January 2022 in a letter to the Secretaries of State for both Education and Health and Social Care, aswell as the Home Secretary.
“I can now confirm that we have secured Dame Christine Lenehan (Director, National Children’s Bureau) to lead this review for the Panel. As you know Christine has an outstanding track record of work with children with complex needs and disabilities. We are very grateful to her for taking this on, and to Anna Feuchtwang (Chief Executive of NCB) for releasing some of her time, particularly at short notice,” said Ms Hudson in the letter.
Fullerton House claims to offer education and care for up to 52 weeks per year for young people aged 8 to 19, with complex needs including behaviour that may challenge and a learning disability, often in association with autism and Wilsic Hall states that it offers a specialist residential school offering education and care for people aged 11 to 19, all of whom have complex needs including behaviour that may challenge and a learning disability, often in association with autism.
Children and young people aged 10-17 years old supported and cared for at Wheatley House will typically have severe learning disabilities, complex needs that are often associated with autism, including communication needs and may at times present behaviour that presents some challenges. All three are run by The Hesley Group.
Ms Hudson highlighted that the panel has worked closely with Doncaster since their initial request that they should undertake a national review.
“In light of the above, and in line with the requirements of Working Together 2018, this letter is the Panel’s formal notification to you that we will commence work on this review in January 2022. I have asked Dr Susan Tranter to lead this review. I will have oversight of the review as Panel chair, and will sign-off progress on a monthly basis. Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker, Children and Families, will offer advice and support as required,” the letter concluded.