Please don’t harm my daughter’s education

Debbie Cairns is worried about  her daughter Demi-Leighs education if staff changes are made at Mavisbank School
Debbie Cairns is worried about her daughter Demi-Leighs education if staff changes are made at Mavisbank School

A Motherwell mum has urged North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue not to let staffing changes at Mavisbank School go ahead.

The Airdrie facility caters for 25 young people aged 5-18 years from all over North Lanarkshire who have complex additional support needs.

The council is planning to re-deploy instructors and early learning practitioners, who will be replaced with ‘health and wellbeing staff’.

Debbie Cairns’s daughter Demi-Leigh (5) was born 15 weeks premature, suffers from a number of conditions including cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and has to be fed through a tube.

She has been attending Mavisbank since last August and Debbie does not want her progress to be compromised.

Debbie, of Coalhall Avenue, said: “At present when one lesson is held in class another takes place in the hydro-therapy pool, on the trampoline, in the community, etc, delivered by educators – instructors or early learning practitioners.

“This proposal means my child will receive less educational experiences, as a teacher can be in only one place at a time. In the short time she has attended Mavisbank I feel Demi-Leigh has progressed, I do not wish for her to be affected by the council’s proposal.

“Support staff have their place in caring for my child, but she deserves to be educated at all times by a person qualified in education.

“I ask Mr Logue not to deny our children the expertise of educators who are specifically trained to educate children who are functioning at an early development stage.”

Councillor Logue said: “There is absolutely no intention to dilute the quality of services provided, there is a determination to enhance and improve the service.

“The proposal is based on the concept that teachers should be supported in teaching all pupils whilst the new role of qualified health and wellbeing staff should have the training and knowledge to address all personal care needs of all students.

“The substantive role of instructors will now be undertaken by qualified teachers.”