A message from Eleanor Southwood, our Chair

Post date: 
Tuesday, 4 September 2018

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

Today, I am sharing the news that we have made the difficult decision to close RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning in Coventry, Warwickshire.

As you may be aware, earlier this year one of our regulating bodies Ofsted raised significant concerns about the way we were managing the centre. We have worked really hard to turn the service around but unfortunately, we have not been able to satisfy them that we have made adequate progress. Both the children’s home and school will close on 7 November 2018. 

The children and young people at the centre are our number one priority; they deserve the very best care and support. We’ve worked hard to put things right but we accept that we’re not the right organisation to be running this highly specialised service for children and young people with complex health needs.

We’re committed to doing everything we can to make sure the children get the support they need to move to their new homes and schools. We have a dedicated team in place to help the transition process run as smoothly as possible.

Our colleagues have worked incredibly hard to make improvements at the centre, we’re grateful for everything they’ve done and thank them for their dedication and commitment.

I’m saddened to share this news with you yet I am confident  this is the right decision, for the children, for RNIB and for the wider community we are here to support.

As we reflect on 150 years of RNIB we have to look to the future. We must focus on the things we do best in order to support blind and partially sighted people for many years to come.

I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of RNIB.