Dad: Denbigh Autism Centre Not Fit For Purpose

AN AUTISTIC boy’s father yesterday mounted a demonstration demanding an inquiry into standards at his son’s school.

Parent David Balmer took his protest about the quality of care and education at Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn in Denbigh to the steps of the county council in Ruthin.

He is worried about standards at the autism centre attended by his 15-year-old son.

Mr Balmer brandished a banner calling on edcuation minister Jane Hutt AM to hold an inquiry into Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn.

He claimed in a statement that in 2006 there was a shortfall in meeting legal national minimum standards of care in the residential section of Ysgol Brondyffryn. He said a further inspection in late 2007 identified yet more failings.

Mr Balmer claims he once saw teenaged pupils “stripping off” in classrooms for PE because no changing rooms were available. He said: “I am aware of many other sets of parents who share our concerns about the standards of care and education at Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn.”

On his placard, he writes: “We demand an independent inquiry into the management and running of the school.”

Mr Balmer said he had asked for a change of placement for his son, and was backed by Shadow Education Minister Janet Ryder AM, but he said the authorities had refused his request.

Jane Hutt AM was unavailable for comment. But a Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said: “The Minister is particularly interested in this case. Once she’s received and had time to study in detail the report on the matter the Minister will be making a statement to the Assembly.”

Denbighshire County Council issued a statement on Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn which has a residential facility called Gerddi Glasfryn.

A spokesman said: “Gerddi Glasfryn was reinspected by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) in November 2007 following an inspection in August 2006.

“The council acknowledges that this reinspection highlighted a number of outstanding recommendations from the previous inspection of August 2006.

“Gerddi Glasfryn is due to be reinspected by the CSSIW in November 2008. The council is now working with the school to ensure all outstanding recommendations are addressed.”