New School Butterstone closure: independent review

Overview

The relevant bodies have taken a number of actions since the closure of The New School Butterstone and in response to the recommendations in the independent review. These include:

  • improving schools’ knowledge base regarding safeguarding and strengthening how this knowledge is assessed 
  • updating and improving guidance for proprietors and parents, providing clear information on the roles of each of the relevant bodies. This new guidance includes sections on safeguarding, complaint management, the handling of closures and mediation, as well as a FAQ section for parents.
  • continuing to enhance working relationships between the bodies, both by updating legal frameworks as well as through strengthening day-to-day working relationships.

The Registrar of Independent Schools has written to all proprietors providing the updated guidance and asking them to disseminate the guidance to parents.

Background

James Martin has undertaken a review into the closure of the New School Butterstone, which was completed in June 2020. The review was independent and non-statutory, and the conclusions and recommendations are the Reviewer’s own.

The New School was an independent special school in Perthshire, which provided education and care to young people with additional support needs. The impact of the school’s closure has been significant for the pupils, their families and staff affected. This review considers the procedures followed by the board of The New School Butterstone, the Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, the Registrar of Independent Schools, all relevant local authorities and the Scottish Government in advance of the decision by the Board of Governors to close the School.

This is a comprehensive report and the Scottish Government will reflect carefully on the recommendations.

Documents