Tayside and Central Scotland

Review ordered into shock closure of residential Perthshire school

New School Butterstone
Image caption Parents were only given four days' notice that the school was going to close

An independent review has been ordered into the controversial closure of a residential Perthshire school for children with additional support needs.

The New School Butterstone, near Dunkeld, closed last November, with all 24 students and 51 staff leaving.

Parents were given just four days' notice that the school was going to close.

The review will consider the procedures followed by the school's board and a range of public bodies.

Financial difficulties were cited at the time as the reason for the school's closure.

Parents claimed their children were left in limbo by the sudden closure and, along with former staff, had called for an inquiry into the circumstances.

The school was subsequently taken over by a new operator in May and has reopened as Moor House Academy Butterstone.

'Significant impact'

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has appointed James Martin CBE, the current chairman of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission to carry out the review.

Mr Swinney said the closure had had a "significant impact" on pupils, their families and staff.

He said: "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."

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