All SEN schools to have CCTV
All SEN schools to have CCTV
We have two children, both of whom have Autism. Our eldest attends a Special Needs School, has very little language and has no ability to answer questions or communicate effectively, other than his basic needs.
Earlier this year our child became the focus of an on-going criminal investigation where his class teacher allegedly struck our child in the head with their elbow. There are two witnesses to this alleged assault, but because the school has no CCTV in place, an investigation has been dragged out over months and months. This has obviously been heart wrenching for our entire family, I won’t go into how this affected our child, but as a family it’s safe to say we no longer fully trust anybody to look after him ever again.
If the school had CCTV in place maybe this wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Or maybe the teacher, who claims innocence, could have shown it didn’t happen straight away. Or maybe the footage would have shown it DID happen and we wouldn’t have had to go through court hearings and police statements. Instead, we’ve been forced to trust the process and navigate our way through deception half truths. Thankfully the Police have been incredible and they too were very confused as to why the school, who mainly consists of vulnerable, non-verbal children, didn’t have CCTV cameras in place.
Just a few weeks ago, the same school attempted to try and drop our child at the wrong home address. They were supposed to take him to his Nan’s house as we were in court giving evidence about the previously mentioned criminal investigation. Instead they got the wrong place and we’re now involved in a game of ‘he said, she said’. The lovely (and thankfully, honest) lady they tried to drop him to has said our child entered her house and was out the view of the transport staff for a few minutes whilst she tried to tell them he wasn’t her grandchild. The transport staff claim he didn’t go near the lady and they stood on the doorstep until they realised their mistake.
The school have investigated this incident and have admitted fault for not correctly passing the address between staff. They are refusing to speak to the lady themselves and do not want to investigate the matter any further as they believe their staff are being truthful which I do appreciate and understand, but it doesn’t ease my anxiety or questioning as to why there are two completely different stories.
To say my trust is broken in this school would be an understatement, but if their school bus had cameras we’d be able to see the truth straight away and our minds would be put at ease
Whilst some of you may be reading this and wondering why we haven’t taken our child out of this school, I can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind but it’s just not that simple. Routine and structure are essential to autism and to take him out would change his entire life. The teachers he has now are fantastic and the school itself has amazing facilities that has done wonders for his communication and coping strategies. But truth be told, we’d be anxious at whatever school he attended now.
That is why I’ve created this petition. I believe ALL Special Educational Needs schools should have CCTV. I know plenty do already, but I believe it should be mandatory. These children cannot speak for themselves, they can’t tell their parents or guardians that they’re hurt or being treated unfairly. The teachers in these schools need to be protected too, so often parents will wonder and panic about bruises and bumps CCTV will provide them with a backup. We aren’t ordinary families, we deal with so much more and we deserve to feel our children are protected within their education setting as it’s quite often the only place, other than home, that they go.