NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Parent meeting held over 'weak' services at Aberdeen special needs school

Orchard Brae School Image copyright Hub North Scotland

A meeting has been held with parents at an Aberdeen school for children with special needs after inspectors branded some services weak.

A report by Education Scotland on Tuesday claimed some of the practices at Orchard Brae put children at risk.

Aberdeen City Council said the findings were "disappointing".

Parent Lisa Thomson told BBC Scotland: "There is going to be a lot of learning for everyone but I just think that the staff at the school are phenomenal."

She was speaking after the city council and management held a meeting to brief parents on how they plan to make improvements.

The council has said an action plan had been put in place to make improvements before inspectors return in September.

Education Scotland graded the school "weak" in the following areas:

  • Quality of care and support
  • Quality of environment
  • Quality of staffing
  • Quality of management and leadership

Parent council member Mrs Thomson, whose daughter attends the school, said: "The management at the school have told us they have now set up online training courses and chat rooms with specialists in other similar schools so that they can share information and learning experiences.

"Every parent present greatly value and respect the staff at Orchard Brae.

"We do appreciate that our school is a new one, and that some of the points raised in the report will only help our school grow stronger."

'Work hard'

The report found that the team "work hard as individuals" but "there is not yet a fully developed ethos of team or collegiate working shared between practitioners".

Councillor John Wheeler, convenor of Aberdeen City Council's education operational delivery committee, said an action plan had been developed.

He said: "The findings outlined in the Orchard Brae School inspection report are disappointing and it is clear we have work to do to fulfil the ambitions for the school and its pupils.

"Our priority is to ensure every young person in the city has the opportunity to thrive and we are committed to moving forward in a positive and proactive manner."

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