How Would You Feel If Your Child Was Given Blades To Self Harm At School?

27 Mar

Yesterday I read a very disturbing article regarding a UK Special School and there policies surrounding the safeguarding of the pupils in their care.

The article states that the school who cater for children with high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome, had introduced a procedure which would allow a child to self harm in their care. Now, I don’t mean turning a blind eye to whats happening around them! I literally mean that teachers were instructed to hand the pupil a sterilised disposable razor blade and sterile wipes and then escort him to the toilets while they waited outside the door for the child to finish, checking on him every few minutes before finally cleaning up the wounds.

The school had introduced a new policy that would allow the child with a history of self harm to self harm in a “Safe” controlled environment. But luckily some teachers didn’t feel comfortable with the policy introduced by the more “Senior” staff which resulted in some having raised concerns with the designated officer at their local authority. The policy was therefore brought to a stop some 6 days after it had first been introduced. A full investigation is said to be underway with those involved possibly facing a professional conduct panel if the incident is thought to be deemed serious enough.

Yes, I’m a parent to a child with Aspergers Syndrome who attends a special school, but regardless of this fact, as a mother alone, I’d not be very happy knowing that my child was attending a school that practiced such procedures. I find it frighteningly worrying that this is what the school believed to be a responsible thing to do! Something said to be in the child’s best interest!

I also think that the staff who worked at the school took the right action. How was it fair to expect them to participate in such action? What if something went wrong and the teacher assisting the child was then brought up on charges.

I don’t like to judge, god only knows I get judged enough, but I do wonder while the parents didn’t protest to the policy. Maybe they did truly feel that this was in their child’s best interest. Maybe the fear of their child engaging in such activity alone was a fear much greater. It is said that the parents of thr child were thought to be aware of the new procedure, but having had many dealings with schools, “Aware” is not always as it may first seem.

Again this just goes to prove how the system is not supporting these children and their families as it should be. Was the child seeing anybody about the self harm and how was this being dealt with, what was their advice? Surly it was the first source of advice the school would seek. Therefore did medical professionals outside of the school feel the procedure to be appropriate? I just hope this child was even getting access to such support.

I ask, what do you think about as you read this? I’ve so far seen nothing but negative comments. Parents, like myself expressing their concern that this has been allowed to happen. I am yet to hear from someone who thinks the school got it right! Do you?

You can read the article in the Daily Mail where you will have access to the name and whereabouts of the school in question.

Again, please do share your thoughts here on the blog.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298952/Unsted-Park-School-Investigation-launched-teachers-hand-special-needs-student-razor-blades-self-harm-safely.html#ixzz2OkWPEOFE
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One Response to “How Would You Feel If Your Child Was Given Blades To Self Harm At School?”

  1. helenprev March 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    I’ve been thinking a lot about that article since I first came across it last week.

    I too have read lots of negative comments, but am trying to imagine it from the other side too, given that we are only hearing, probably, part of the story.

    My daughter was self harming in school last year and had a risk assessment put in place, in order that she would be able to remain in school and access her education rather than being sent home every time it happened, which for a while was pretty frequent (at least once a day on school premises).

    In her case the policy, which was agreed by us, was that she would inform a member of staff each time it happened so they could check whether any wounds needed cleaning or dressing safely. It doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to see how this school arrived at their own potential solution to a similar problem. If a young person is going to self harm, it is very difficult to stop them, and better a sterilised blade than a pair of dirty scissors nicked from the art room…

    I do have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but am sure there is a side to the story we just aren’t hearing and would prefer to know more before I judge the school about this very complicated issue.

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