William Eichler 02 August 2019

Care home closed amid allegations of ‘child cruelty’

A care home in the north Bristol area for children with special needs has been closed down amid allegations of child cruelty.

Ofsted has removed St Christopher's Children's Home’s registration and staff have been suspended while the police investigate ‘allegations of child cruelty offences’.

A spokesperson for the Aurora Group, which runs the school for children with special needs, said the allegations were against a ‘small number of staff’ who were immediately suspended.

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that the investigation had begun and said that they were working with multi-agency partners to ‘ensure that safeguarding measures are being put in place’.

Dr Jacqui Jensen, executive director of people services at Bristol City Council, commented that Ofsted had taken enforcement action and issued the school with a suspension notice.

‘Allegations such as this are very concerning and therefore the welfare and needs of the children, young people and their families who attend this school’s education and residential care facilities are our top priority,’ said Dr Jensen.

‘We are working with the families, other local authorities and a range of partners to review everyone’s individual care plans and make alternative arrangements for the provision of care and education.

‘It is important that the children and young people are safely cared for and the families are supported.’

In a statement on the allegations, the Aurora Group spokesperson said the staff members involved were ‘reported to the authorities straight away in line with our safeguarding procedures.’

‘We are now focused on doing all that we can to support the children, young people, their families and carers, and the many caring and dedicated staff who are affected during this very difficult time,’ they said.

The spokesperson added: ‘We have been asked by the authorities not to give any further details to protect the integrity of the investigation.’?

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