School severely criticised for discriminating against disabled pupil

February 5th, 2013

The First-tier Tribunal has upheld a claim of disability discrimination against Stanbridge Earls, an independent school in Hampshire, making very serious criticisms of the school and far-reaching orders by way of remedy. The tribunal found the school failed to protect a vulnerable disabled pupil who was a victim of sexual abuse by male pupils at the school. Amongst other remedies, the tribunal ordered that a redacted copy of its decision be sent to the Secretary of State for Education to consider whether the school should continue to be registered, as well as to Ofsted, Hampshire County Council’s Director of Children’s Services and all local authorities which have named or are known to be considering naming the school in part 4 of a statement. The tribunal also expressed the view that the school should not advertise its ability to make appropriate provision for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder while it lacks the necessary professional expertise, leadership, management, training, and systems to meet those needs and ensure that such children are not discriminated against unlawfully.

Parents and local authorities who may be considering a placement at the school should therefore be aware of this decision, although of course it remains to be seen whether any of the tribunal’s findings are challenged by way of appeal.

For coverage of this on the BBC News website see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-21129310 and https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-21173180.

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