Tayside and Central Scotland

Butterstone school reopens after six-month closure

New School Butterstone Image copyright AFP
Image caption Butterstone House School will reopen in the coming weeks

A residential school for children with significant additional support needs is to reopen - six months after closing due to financial difficulties.

The New School Butterstone in Dunkeld, Perthshire, closed in November - with all 24 students and 51 staff leaving.

It has now been taken over by a new operator and will reopen as Butterstone House School in the coming weeks.

An initial intake of 12 day students will expand to up to 30 day and residential places.

In November more than 20 children with autism and anxiety were left without educational provision after parents were given just four days' notice that New School Butterstone was to close.

The new school will by operated from the same building by Moore House Care and Education, which says placements will be allocated in partnership with Perth and Kinross Council and other local authorities across Scotland

The West Lothian-based operator also said it had appointed a full complement of teaching and support staff.

The news was welcomed by Scotland's Education Secretary John Swinney, who also serves as the local MSP.

Writing on Twitter Mr Swinney said: "This is very good news and I am pleased the Moore House Group have come forward to establish this much needed school."

Image caption The New School Butterstone closed with just four days' notice last November

Alex Linklater, who owns Butterstone House, said the original school was founded by his mother Veronica Linklater in 1992, with his sister Freya among its first pupils.

He added: "Last year's closure was experienced as a tragedy by everyone involved, but this is our second chance.

"Moore House managers and teachers have the experience and expertise to lay the foundations for a new generation of special needs schooling in Scotland, in close collaboration with local authorities.

"At Butterstone House, children who have struggled in life and school will arrive in a place where they are valued for who they are and where they can realise their true potential."

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