Parents of pupils at a special school and nursery in Aberdeen have come out in support of staff after inspectors delivered a damning verdict following a recent visit.
Education Scotland and the Care Inspectorate visited the £18.5 million Orchard Brae in May for its first inspection following its opening in 2017.
Though it had been hailed as a “centre of excellence” when it opened, following the amalgamation of three additional support needs (ASN) schools, inspectors raised a number of concerns.
They rated the school and nursery as “poor” in most categories, and “unsatisfactory” in one.
Fears were raised around safety, with procedures said to be too poor within the nursery to keep children safe from “harm and neglect”.
Inspectors also noted a lack of lesson planning and said that staff were not efficiently working together, which “meant that at times there was not a warm atmosphere that helped children feel valued loved and secure”.
But since the report was delivered, parents have put forward their own thoughts on the operations of the school.
Lisa Thomson said she did not feel the report was a fair reflection on Orchard Brae.
She said: “We held a meeting and every parent present greatly values and respects the staff at Orchard Brae.
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“We all feel they do a fabulous job, and we wanted to show our support and belief in their efforts.
“Whilst we acknowledge that it is always a good thing to strive to do better, we also feel that we should celebrate what the school has achieved.
“Many of our children have far exceeded our expectations through their involvement in a variety of projects because of the commitment, dedication and determination of the staff at Orchard Brae.”
Lisa Simons, who has two boys at the school, added: “The staff all do a phenomenal job they go above and beyond with my and all the other children.
“They have helped develop their skills and helped me realise ways I can improve things at home to also help my boys.
“I personally am very happy with the school and the level of support and nurturing they offer my children and feel happy to approach if I feel the need.”
Aberdeen City Council’s education convener, John Wheeler, said recruitment struggles had contributed to the negative inspection report.