School incident highlights how vital classroom support is

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The difficult balancing act of educational inclusion and ensuring pupil safety hit home at Langlees Primary School this week.

An incident involving a youngster with additional support needs on March 1 unfortunately left three of his classmates with minor injuries and resulted in parents of six of the class pupils taking them out of school until the head teacher could assure them their children would be safe.

Falkirk Council Leader Craig Martin said the details of the incident were still being looked at, but it is believed the pupil tipped over a table and his fellow pupils were caught in the middle of this action.

Councillor Martin said: “My understanding is he has a good relationship with most of the pupils in the school. We need to understand what happened on the day and then look at how it is managed.”

One parent said: “This boy needs the appropriate support and our children should be safe when they go to school.”

Councillor Alan Nimmo, Falkirk Council education spokesman, said: “We are always concerned to hear of any incident that involves injury to children. Our staff work closely with parents to ensure the best support is in place and we will certainly look into this further and see if there can be anything learned.

“Support will continue to be available in all our mainstream schools and in our support units and we will strive to meet the needs of all of our children and young people, along with their parents and carers, throughout their school career.”

A duty of care for one and all

All Councils in Scotland have a legal duty to make provision for pupils with additional support needs

Falkirk Council schools and nurseries have more than 3200 pupils with Additional Support Needs – that is around 13 per cent of the area’s school population

Fifteen primary schools have enhanced provision that brings very comprehensive support to pupils who have more complex needs and there are three units for those children with the most severe and complex needs

Where incidents occur, they are managed with both the school and the education authority offering support to those involved and, where necessary, measures are introduced to prevent a re-occurrence