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Mother welcomes support for campaign to change way teachers deal with disabled children

Beth Morrison has pledged to be a voice for other children like her son.
Beth Morrison has pledged to be a voice for other children like her son.

A Dundee mum fighting to change the way disabled children are restrained by their teachers has welcomed the latest comments by Scottish politicians debating her case.

Tomorrow will mark the fifth anniversary of the first time Beth Morrison’s severely disabled son, then 11, returned from Kingspark School with injuries.

After fighting for years she welcomed comments made by the Scottish Government’s Public Petitions Committee considering her case for national guidance on restraint and seclusion in schools.

Mrs Morrison alleges her son, who has epilepsy, autism and cerebral palsy, was injured because of restraint used at the school and is now calling for a change in the law.

Although he is now happy in an Angus school, Mrs Morrison said she said she will continue to be a voice for other children like him.

Mrs Morrison said: “We are talking about children who have severe disabilities.

“The vast majority are so disabled they can’t even speak and the only way they can communicate is through behaviour.

“These children are getting injured and no one is being held accountable.

“I want guidance specifically for disabled children focusing on positive behavioural support.”

Although the Scottish Government has agreed to take on one part of the petition and to develop national guidance on restraint and seclusion for all children in Scotland, committee members said more need to be done specifically looking at children with severe disability.

MSP members said the matters raised in her petition gave them “serious cause for concern” and were “completely unacceptable”.

They also said more needs to be done, and will call on the Scottish Government to work in consultation with Mrs Morrison.

The chairman said: “If this is a widespread process going unchecked we need to make sure the government is bringing forward proposals to address these issues.”

The petition was lodged in February and the committee has heard representations from Beth Morrison, charities including Children 1st, Enable Scotland, Pamis, as well as the Care Inspectorate, the Educational Institute of Scotland and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children.

Since Mrs Morrison started her petition she said she has been contacted by other parents, some in Dundee who also allege their children have come home with unexplained injuries.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed an investigation into criminality at Kingspark is “progressing.”

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