Last year many parents in Standish and wider afield came aware that some parents had concerns on safeguarding in Woodfold school and also how their disabled child was being treated. Trying to evidence and get to the bottom of it the parents put a recording device in the child's wheelchair and then recorded what they did, if anything. When they listened back to the recordings they were heart broken and hearing their child cry and scream and the teacher assistant in the play ground did nothing for them.
In the correct manner they raised it with the school and the head, Gill Lloyd - who has recent retired. The parents got no where and then their raised their concerns with the Local Education Authority, Wigan Council. Yet again Wigan Council completed made it up as they went along and treated the parents with no regards whats so ever. At one point the parents wrote to myself as their local Cllr for help and when they got no answer they quiet rightly gave me an ear bashing. When I said that I had no email and looked into the matter Wigan Council had deliberately intercepted the email so it did not arrive in my Cllrs inbox and I would not become aware of the matter. Disgusting!
Then when the parents complained and got nowhere they raised it with the ombudsman. The report from the panel that heard the complaint completely proves that the Parents where quiet right to raise their concerns and once they did the Council should have followed their own procedures and law. Yet again in a typical hash manner fashion that is Wigan Council they did what they wanted the truth to come out and justice for the parents and this child.
Now a report by the panel has been sent to the parents and Wigan Council with their findings and it proves and vindicates the actions of the parents. Now the Council has had to apologise to the parents concerned and admit their did not follow their own procedures and they got it wrong. Fundamentally got it wrong. The Council has had to admit that they will in future follow the correct procedure and retain staff so they know about safeguarding.
What's disappointing to me is that the parents first of all had to go to the extremes that they did, including putting the recordings online to prove their case as they felt they were getting a raw deal and being made out to be the bad guys and more importantly that this child has had so much disruption.
If a parent, any parent, they need to know that they can raise it and that the correct procedure will be done and followed. It seem the council and the Head didn't want the bad PR that would come. But what is important is not protecting a reputation but the children that go to those schools. Our children. After all they are the most precise things in our lives.
Wigan Council should not only apologise in private but in public too as their actions left a little vulnerable child out of the education whilst this was all going on.
Whilst I am pleased that the parents have been vindicated I wish I could, hand on heart say that Wigan Council would do things different next time. Knowing how this council is run in this fast food, slick ass, persian bizarre manner that we have all become accustom to, I can't say that things will have change. Heads should have rolled here. Have people jumped before they were pushed? Possibly. Have people lower down the chain of command been made scapegoats? Possible. But either way it is wrong because if it is the former then people have gone with a their reputations in tact to go somewhere else and then it happens to a child where they have gone. Or if it is the latter then that is equally wrong as the top is always who is, or should be accountable.
I have post some links below to the original story below.