Lesson In Self-Harming: U.K. School Supervised Vulnerable Pupil As She Slashed Herself With Razors

Taken from   the  Mirror News   which is located   HERE.

A vulnerable pupil prone to self-harming was allowed to slash herself with razors while supervised by a teacher.

Staff gave the youngster sterilised blades and took her to a bathroom where she could carry out the ­mutilation in a “safe and controlled manner” before her wounds were cleaned and dressed.

But the policy was ditched after just a few days following an outcry by workers at the special school for pupils with Asperger’s and autism.

Principal Steve Dempsey and headteacher Laura Blair are being investigated by the Teaching Agency over allegations of unacceptable professional conduct.

The procedure sparked fury among mental health charities.

Young Minds said: “This policy could be misinterpreted as encouraging young people to self-harm.

“It’s misguided. It does not address the issues young people who  self-harm are grappling with.

“What schools should be doing is providing supportive environments where young people are encouraged to talk about how they feel and helped to get the right support.”

Several members of staff were understood to have protested against the supervised self-harm policy at Unsted Park School in Godalming, Surrey.

Some complained to Surrey county council’s Local Authority Designated Officer.

A spokesman for Priory Group, which runs Unsted, said: “We are always willing to review cases with the Teaching Agency.

“This was a short-term, local ­procedure introduced by the headteacher and school principal who genuinely believed it was in the best interests of the pupil.

“However, they accept it should not have been implemented without further approvals having been obtained from key stakeholders and senior management.”

The policy was launched in January last year but details of the incident involving the youngster have only now been made public.

Senior staff had ordered teachers to give her the razor blades.

According to the directive they were told to then wait outside the bathroom while the pupil was inside, checking on her every two minutes. The school teaches boys and girls aged seven to 19.

The Teaching Agency was unable to comment on the investigation.

The Department for Education said: “This is a deeply worrying allegation.

“The department commissioned an emergency inspection by Ofsted. It found some failings which we are working to rectify.”

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