Bideford school for children with autism announces closure

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Broomhayes Centre’s residential and day school provision will be closing next year with 100 jobs at risk.

A BIDEFORD school which provides residential and day facilities for people with autism will close next year.

Around 100 people could be facing redundancy from Broomhayes Centre as the school begins to consult with staff over the closure.

Broomhayes is run by the National Autistic Society (NAS) and provides care and support to 18 people with autism, including five children.

A spokesman for NAS said: “Recent inspections by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted have shown that we are not currently reaching the high standards of care and education at Broomhayes Centre that we have set ourselves.

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“We have also faced some financial challenges at Broomhayes over the last few years.

“We have taken the decision to close the residential and day school provision for children at Broomhayes Centre on a date to be agreed in the early part of 2014.

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“A fall in child referrals and the ageing of those currently being cared for have seen Broomhayes change into a much more adult focussed service.

“As such, we are looking to continue developing a smaller and more focussed service for young adults.”

The spokesman said employees at the centre were informed of the decision earlier today (Weds) and NAS was working with staff to agree the next steps and provide support.

She said: “We understand that this will be unsettling news for those currently supported by the centre and we will work with them, their families and their local authorities to seek ongoing support which best suits their needs.

“We acknowledge that there are considerable improvements to be made at Broomhayes, and we are committed to working with CQC and other stakeholders in order to provide the very best support we can to the people in our care.

“We know that this is unsettling news and would like to assure all those connected to the centre that we are committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for them.”

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