Funding and quality concerns force closure of Broomhayes
A HUNDRED people in North Devon could lose their jobs after it was revealed that a Bideford residential and day school for children with autism will close next year.
Broomhayes Centre currently provides care and support to 18 people with autism, including five children.
But recent inspections by the Care Quality Commission and Ofsted have shown the facility is not currently reaching the high standards of care and education the centre had set themselves.
Broomhayes has also faced some financial challenges over the past few years.
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The National Autistic Society, which runs the centre, has confirmed as a result around 100 people are likely to lose their jobs although the centre is still in consultation.
Kathrine Bancroft, a spokesman from the society, said the school would be closed on a date to be agreed in early 2014.
"A fall in child referrals and the ageing of those currently being cared for have seen Broomhayes change into a much more adult-focused service," she said.
"As such, we are looking to continue developing a smaller and more focused service for young adults.
"We understand that this will be unsettling news for those currently supported by the centre and we will work with them, their families and their local authorities to seek ongoing support which best suits their needs.
"We acknowledge that there are considerable improvements to be made at Broomhayes, and we are committed to working with Care Quality Commission and other stakeholders in order to provide the very best support we can to the people in our care."
She said the society would work with staff to provide support throughout the process.