A Caithness mother has raised concerns over the level of disability facilities provided at a new £50million high school.
Sarah Jane Scollay, 36, from Wick, is a full-time carer to son Tyler who was diagnosed with severe autism when he was two.
With Tyler now 13, she says Wick High School is simply not equipped or designed to provide adequate facilities for Tyler or other disabled children in the region, leaving him having lessons in “isolation” at a local family centre.
She said: “There is absolutely nothing up here for kids with disabilities or kids on the spectrum. He has never been mainstreamed, he can’t handle going into a classroom with other kids because he has always been so isolated.
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“He went from primary school to high school and he was only in high school two weeks and he was excluded twice because he had had a meltdown. It’s basically the structure of the school’s fault.
“The way it has been built, there is a corridor that is supposed to be for kids with disabilities but straight across the road is the main street and it’s so loud and noisy. Above the classrooms there are music rooms that are not padded so there will still be volume and noise.
“They haven’t built it with sound-proofed rooms and they don’t have a sensory room. They only got a second disabled toilet because so many staff were complaining because they were having to change kids and they didn’t have a room on the first floor.”
The new £48.5million campus opened its doors to the first cohort of students in April 2017, complete with spacious classrooms and modern facilities.
Miss Scollay criticized the lack of consideration from Highland Council and others before construction.
She added: “To pay £48million for a high school and not have decent classrooms and for what I have seen of his school, nothing has been specially equipped for disabilities or for autism. It’s just bog-standard classrooms and they do need so much other special equipment and they are not getting it.
“Why did they get a building built that is not able to accommodate kids like Tyler and why weren’t they asking parents or kids like Tyler for their advice earlier? Nothing about that high school has been built for disabilities.”
A Highland Council spokeswoman said they were working to resolve the problem. She said: “We are aware of the issues raised and in any such cases school staff and council support staff will work together with families to find the best solution and review the circumstances on a regular basis. The council is actively looking into the issues raised at the school.”