Panorama exposes abuse at Life Wirral SEN School: staff mock and assault pupils, says documentary

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BBC Panorama investigation showed staff at Life Wirral (a school for children with Special Education Needs) using offensive language to mock pupils and using potentially unlawful physical restraints and physical assaults. The Panorama documentary, that aired on 17 June 2024, was shown to Dame Christine Lenehan, former director of the Council for Disabled Children, who said that the school was “fundamentally unsafe”.

Ofsted rated the school as “Good” in June 2022 and carried out a further inspection in April 2023 which did not appear to raise any concerns.

It is not known what further steps will be taken as a result of the evidence uncovered by the Panorama investigation. A statement from Life Wirral has confirmed that five members of staff have been suspended and will face disciplinary action.

Life Wirral is a specialist school for pupils who have EHCP (education, health and care plan) primarily for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and ASD (autism spectrum disorder). It is an independent school that opened in 2021.

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