New School Butterstone

Independent Review into school closure commissioned.

An Independent Review into the closure of a residential school for children with additional support needs has been commissioned by Ministers.

The New School Butterstone closed in November 2018, and the Independent Review will consider the procedures followed by the school’s Board and a range of public bodies in advance of the decision to close.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has appointed James Martin CBE to carry out the Independent Review.

Mr Swinney said:

“The sudden closure of the New School Butterstone had a significant impact on the pupils, their families and staff, and our priority since then has been to ensure the wellbeing of all the former pupils.

“I have met many of the families and staff and heard their concerns regarding the closure. This Independent Review will consider the actions of all relevant bodies and, if applicable, identify any learning that can enhance practice in the future.”


The Independent Review will consider:

  • the roles and responsibilities of a number of organisations including the School Board, the Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland, Registrar of Independent Schools, relevant local authorities and the Scottish Government, in relation to the educational quality, safety, and wellbeing of the children and young people at the school
  • the actions and decisions the named bodies took from 1 January 2017 to the school closing on 23 November 2018. This includes the interactions with the school, each other, and the basis on which recommendations were made
  • any written contributions received from the relevant bodies or individuals affected by the decision to close the school

For more information and to contribute to the Independent Review please visit:

Anyone wishing to provide information should email

Mr James Martin CBE has held a number of public appointments, including being the first independent police complaints commissioner, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and General Secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland. He is also the current Chair of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

The Independent Review will begin immediately and is expected to take a number of months to complete.


Media enquiries

Back to top