A review of using isolation booths at schools run by Outwood Grange Academies Trust, which runs Outwood Academy Portland and Outwood Academy Valley in Worksop, will take place after specialist education law experts were instructed to take legal action.
In November last year Simpson Millar submitted the application for a Judicial Review on behalf of the mother of a boy who attended one of the Trust’s Schools in Yorkshire in a bid to challenge the use of the sanction for extended periods of time; as well as the lack of teaching while in the booths, the lack of procedural safeguards, and the conditions children are subjected to.
The mother of the secondary school pupil in question said the effect of repeated and extended isolation had a ‘devastating’ effect on her son – with the 14 year old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, having spent approximately a third of his time at school last year subjected to the punishment.
Following the launch of the legal action Outwood Grange Academies Trust has now pledged to review their practice, taking into account all of the issues raised by Simpson Millar in the judicial review application.
Dan Rosenberg, solicitor at Simpson Millar’s Education team, said: “We are pleased that Outwood Grange is conducting a review taking our points on-board, and expect this to lead to changes that will mean that the treatment suffered by our client and many other children is not repeated. Anything less would be very concerning.
“We would expect organisations with an interest in children’s welfare, such as CAMHS, Local authorities and the children’s commissioner to show a close interest in the review, to ensure the cessation of the sanction and the improved wellbeing of children moving forward.
“We are glad that this Academy chain is rethinking their approach.”