A message from Eleanor Southwood, our Chair

Post date: 
Thursday, 5 April 2018

Eleanor Southwood, Chair of RNIB has issued a statement about RNIB Pears Centre.

Today I want to share some very disappointing news. A few weeks ago we received a notice from Ofsted, which regulates our children’s services, proposing to cancel our registration to run the children’s home at RNIB Pears Centre in Coventry, Warwickshire. This was in response to a series of increasingly poor monitoring reports which have criticised the way we have run the service. We now have to demonstrate to Ofsted substantial improvements by mid-April and we will know Ofsted’s decision in mid-May.

The children at RNIB Pears Centre are our number one priority. We recognise the seriousness of Ofsted’s concerns and we’re truly sorry that the level of service we’ve provided has not been good enough.

In January we put in place a Service Improvement Plan, but it’s clear that we should have acted more quickly to make changes. We are now working closely with Ofsted to improve the service and we’re doing absolutely everything we can to put things right at RNIB Pears Centre.

Due to the gravity of these concerns, the Charity Commission has decided to open a statutory inquiry.  

We will be co-operating with the Charity Commission fully in their inquiry. We’re also launching our own independent review to get to the bottom of what happened, and to guide us in making improvements to how we work. 

Following on from this Sally Harvey has decided to step down from her position as Chief Executive of RNIB. We will be appointing an interim Chief Executive as soon as possible.

We are sorry that we have let down the children in our care and the people who loyally support RNIB. We are now doing absolutely everything we can to put things right and make sure the young people at RNIB Pears Centre receive the very best care and support.

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