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02 Jun 2017
Forth Valley Stronger Together

Our May newsletter has just been published.  You can download a hard copy of it by clicking here or you can listen to a copy of it by clicking it here or you can right click to download and listen later.   

Each of the articles are available on line if you want to read them that way.  

The lead article is titled "abuse and illegal restraint in Dundee".  This is a shocking story of allegations of abuse of children with special needs in Kingspark school in Dundee.  After 4 years there are still police investigations under way into what has been happening at this school.   We think there are a number of lessons to be learned on the national school.  

The second article is looking at some of the problems that have been developing with Personal Independence Payment.  There is also a hint that the DWP is starting to be more restrictive in the assessment and management of applications.  You can read the article here. 

Our final article is on our Independence Referendum workshops.  These have been very popular and our 35 workshops have been attended by over 500 people with learning disabilities.  You can find out what questions they wanted answered and what the result of our Opinion Poll were.  


Kingspark School  - What is going on                   
  2Q 2011 3Q 2011 4Q 2011 1Q 2012 2Q 2012 3Q 2012 4Q 2012 1Q 2013 2Q 2013
Dundee Primary Schools 4 96 63 128 40 74 86 98 55
Dundee Secondary Schools 33 31 17 14 10 15 16 23 15
Kingspark School 182 40 93 224 136 151 505 745 300
Teaching Staff Only 2Q 2011 3Q 2011 4Q 2011 1Q 2012 2Q 2012 3Q 2012 4Q 2012 1Q 2013 2Q 2013
Dundee Primary Schools 21 35 21 63 29 33 51 45 37
Dundee Secondary Schools 11 29 15 11 10 13 9 22 14
Kingspark School 19 11 14 62 68 25 61 72 43
Support Staff Only 2Q 2011 3Q 2011 4Q 2011 1Q 2012 2Q 2012 3Q 2012 4Q 2012 1Q 2013 2Q 2013
Dundee Primary Schools 11 61 42 63 11 41 35 53 18
Dundee Secondary Schools 2 2 2 3 0 2 7 1 1
Kingspark School 163 29 79 162 68 126 444 673 257

Kingspark School in Dundee opened in 2009 but very quickly concerns emerged.    By 2013, there were 20% more pupils in the school that had been planned. By 2014, it was nearly 140% more – 175 instead of 125. 

In 2010 a new electronic recording system encouraged school staff to see themselves as the victims of attacks by school pupils even where there was no malicious intent such as a child having an epileptic fit whose involuntary hand movements touched a member of staff. 

Recorded “violent” incidents grew from 100 in 09-10 to over 1,000 in the first 6 months of 2013.  But no one seems to have asked what was happening. 

Meanwhile allegations were being made that a small but significant number of children were being illegally restrained or subject to physical abuse. 

One 12 year old child was restrained on the ground  by four teaching and support staff. Bruising and blood spots on his chest indicated that he had been held face down in  what is an illegal hold.   The incident was repeated on two subsequent days.  His mother said “Four teachers held my small epileptic child on the floor till he passed our and urinated. Then they let him go!”


Do It Yourself Workshop on the Independence Referendum

 Scotland is facing a big decision in the near future.  In September there will be a chance to vote on whether should or should not be an Independent country.  

 Everybody should have a chance to play a part in this.  And we have been going around the country running workshops that people with learning disabilities can explore the different ways that they can come to a decision on the future of Scotland. 

We have run 25 workshops from Aberdeen to Duns and from Lochmaben to Cupar, covering much of the country and have spoken to over 350 people with learning disabilities.  We will be carrying out more over the next few months and if you are in one of our member organisations who has not yet had one please get in touch.  But otherwise we simply cannot keep up with the demand. 

So we are making materials available so that people can run their own workshop over the next few months so that lots more people can look at this issue.  This is a balanced exercise that does not favour either side and we would ask that anyone using this material respects this. 

 Even if you don't run a workshop you can use the information below to find out more.

Below you can download lots of help material that you can print off and use.  You can use each of them as part of the workshop or just use single pieces on their own.


Instructions for carrying out a workshop

Powerpoint presentation on voting in the referendum – This is a set of slides that you can use to structure your workshop.  You do not need to use every slide. 

Video One – Big Eck needs your help song – This is a fun video about the referendum that usually gets a laugh and sets everybody up for a good discussion. 

Video Two – Question Time at the Scottish Parliament – This is a video interview between two leading politicians Jackie Baillie and Joan MacAlpine about what difference the referendum will make for people with learning disabilities. 

Video Three – Our Voices – This is a video of what people with learning disabilities from around Scotland think about the referendum. 

Pamphlet One – Question Time on Independence – This is a cartoon style pamphlet that has essential information about the referendum as well as the leading arguments from both sides about independence.

Pamphlet Two – More Information on the issues people care about.  This is an Easy Read pamphlet that has the answers to the ten most popular questions asked by people with learning disabilities at the end of each of our workshops. 

Ballot Form – This is a sample of the ballot form that will be used on September 18th

Voting Cards – We recommend that you print three coloured cards to each participant in the workshop and ask them to use them to vote on the different questions.  If you are printing the cards, print numbers on each so that they are easy to link to answers.  If card is being cut, then write the numbers on each.  The cards will be easier to use if they are joined at one corner by string or something similar. 


This workshop works best for groups between 10 and 12 people but can be used for groups between 4 & 100.  Presenters need to keep their own views on the outcome of the referendum to themselves before and during the presentation. 

Equipment needed

·         Projector or Television wired for sound

·         Voting cards for each person

·         Copies of the pamphlets for each person

·         Access to the internet or downloaded copies of the videos

Workshop Aim

To help people with learning disabilities to explore the issues around independence and Scottish identity.

To give people practice in making decisions over issues involved in the debate about independence. 

Background material is contained in the notes on each slide

Presenters should have read the pamphlets and watched the videos in advance along with the background material prior to the workshop.  The presenter does not have to be an expert on all the issues in the presentation but confident enough in presenting an outline of the issues. 

The workshop should last about an hour to an hour and a half.    If the workshop is going on, then the presenter should miss out some of the questions in the middle.  The aim is to explore the issue, not to bore or tire people in submission.  It is important that every group gets to the concluding question on what they think about independence. 

Where a slide requires people to vote, call for people to show the same colour of card that reflects that answer.   The presenter should count or make a judgement about which answer is most popular each time.   It is important that people realise that voting leads to one answer, one side, one person being chosen.  

Presenters should keep an accurate count of responses to the final question and email us  with the results. 

For those that need hard copies of any of the materials, they should get in touch with the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland and we will provide copies for as long as supplies last. 





The Legal Services Agency is organising a full day conference on Deprivation of Liberty on 19th May this year.

This is to coincide with the Cheshire West judgement which has a number of implications for Scotland in particular with regard to the care and treatment of adults and children with incapacity.

LSA also have a Deprivation of Liberty test case on going in the Court of Session which is considering whether an individual can be deprived of their liberty by virtue of a Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney.

These topics will likely be of interest to members of LDAS given our recent concerns on the use of Section 13za of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.

While the conference is a bit pricey and aimed at legal education, some might find it interesting. Follow this link for more information.