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Abuse lawyer’s concern as BBC investigation uncovers apparent misuse of ‘calming rooms’ at Whitefield School in Walthamstow

I’ve read with concern this week about a recent BBC investigation that appears to highlight the misuse of so-called “calming rooms” at Whitefield School in Walthamstow, one of the largest special schools in the UK.

Staff were filmed apparently mistreating pupils leaving them isolated, sometimes in their own urine, and allegedly subjecting them to physical abuse.

Investigation finds some staff allowed to keep working with children 

The investigation found that despite evidence of abuse, some staff members remain employed and haven’t been barred from working with children. 

Parents say they have been left in the dark, misled about the use of isolation, and denied access to the footage. The findings raise serious questions about the oversight and accountability within special education schools.

Protection of vulnerable children should be paramount

The protection of vulnerable children in education settings needs to be paramount. This includes establishing robust regulations, ensuring transparency, and enforcing accountability.

While extremely worrying, it’s now vital that the BBC’s findings are thoroughly investigated by the authorities and those affected and their families receive the support they require at this distressing time. 

If any further issues are identified during the course of those investigations it’s vital that lessons are learned and measures put in place to protect other vulnerable people in the future.

Legal support available

In the wake of such incidents, legal support can play a pivotal role in securing answers and access to specialist support for those affected.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting families affected by abuse within schools at our dedicated school abuse claims section. Alternatively, to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.

More information about the BBC's findings is available.