Leader of council apologises for use of time-out room
11:15am Monday 30th July 2012 in Milford Haven
AN ‘unreserved apology’ has been made over the controversial use of a locked time out room which was used at Neyland Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).
The leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Jamie Adams, offered the apology at last week’s meeting of full council.
It followed further revelations about the use of a padded time out room where pupils would be asked to go to calm down. Some young people would also request to be placed in there.
However, pupils who refused to go to the room would sometimes be locked in.
In an independent report the room was described as very small with no ventilation and fumes coming from the material padding the walls, floor and ceiling.
There was no furniture and the light switch was in the room next door.
“I would like to place on record my regret about some of the practices previously undertaken in the PRU,” said Cllr Adams.
“It is clear that for a period up to June 2009 individual children within the PRU were on occasion withdrawn to, and appear to have been restrained within, a ‘time out’ room.
“I offer an unreserved apology for these actions.”
He added: “I would also like to reassure current pupils within the PRU, as well as the wider community in Pembrokeshire, that the practice described was stopped as soon as the authority was made aware of it and that instructions were issued to all schools prohibiting the practice described.
“As an organisation we have already demonstrated and continue to reinforce our commitment to ensuring there can be no repeat of this type of incident.”
The leader also reassured councillors that the disciplinary investigation following the Estyn and Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) reports, which is being carried out by the council’s legal department, will be wide ranging and complete.
Cllr Mike Williams who had asked when the leader would make a public apology and statement of regret following the damning reports by Estyn and the CSSIW last year, thanked the leader for a “long overdue apology”.