iPad busts teachers abusing special needs kids at UK school
A pupil at a UK special education needs school recorded a whole day's audio on an iPad, and what was discovered has led to firings and apologies.
Market Field School, Essex (source: school website)
Market Field School in Essex, England, is a special needs establishment and the unnamed pupil is one of six in its Oak Tree class, which is for children with complex autism and aged between 7 years and 11 years. According to BBC News, the pupil began an audio recording on his or her iPad on the journey to school, and then accidentally let it capture a full day in the classroom.
The child's mother is reported to have found the audio recording and notified the school of what she found. Head teacher Ruth Whitehead subsequently wrote to parents, saying she could not "articulate fully the absolute devastation, shock and disbelief" at what had happened.
"On behalf of Market Field School, I am so very sorry this happened," wrote Whitehead. "What happened falls well below the high expectations we have for staff conduct and the values we stand for as a school."
Whitehead also told parents that she had referred the matter to local law enforcement. According to the authorities, the incidents did not raise safeguarding issues, but were matters of staff conduct.
"The safety, wellbeing and happiness of your children is my highest priority and I know this to be a sentiment shared by the whole school team," continued Whitehead's letter. She also said that she is "confident that what happened was an isolated incident, confined to one room."
The fired staff have not been named publicly, though they have been referred to the UK's Disclosure and Barring Service which future employers can check. The incidents recorded have also not been revealed.
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