A headteacher has been sacked after a steel cage was used to house an autistic pupil while at school.The metal cube was built by the school in Canberra, Australia, as a place for the 10-year-old boy to ‘calm down’ should he start getting anxious. The two-metre cage was fitted with a self-closing latch and built at a cost of $5,195 AUS (£2,380).
After news of the cage broke, an inquiry was launched and it found the decision to build the metal structure was taken by one person. The inquiry found the cage was built on 10th March but taken down just two weeks later after the child’s parents complained to the Education Department.
The head teacher has now been removed from the school and two new staff members with expertise in disability education have now been brought in. Investigators refused to name the school, the head teacher or the child, but Education minister Joy Burch slammed the decision to use a cage as a way of counteracting the pupil’s behaviour: “This decision was wrong and the officer responsible will no longer be a school principal or be working within a school. School principals must be held responsible for their actions.”