Fourth arrest over child cruelty allegations at SEND school

Life Wirral school in Wirral
Life Wirral school is rated as "good" by Ofsted inspectors [BBC]

A fourth man has been arrested over allegations of child cruelty at an independent school for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

An investigation was launched after the BBC broadcast video footage recorded by an undercover journalist at the school last month.

A 50-year-old man from Birkenhead has been arrested on suspicion of child cruelty, Merseyside Police say.

He has been taken into custody to be interviewed.

On Wednesday, a 43-year-old man from Meols, a 21-year-old man from Wallasey and a 26-year-old man from Irby were arrested on suspicion of child cruelty.

They were taken into custody to be interviewed and have now been conditionally bailed.

Enquiries into the matter were ongoing, the force said.

Last year, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council paid the Life Wirral school nearly £1m.

Places at the school for secondary school age children cost between £50,000 and £150,000 a year per child, depending on the support they need.

Wirral Council has paid out more than £2.2m in total since the school opened in 2021.

The school is rated as "good" by Ofsted inspectors.

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