Home Office '˜approved drugs trials' on youngsters at two Yorkshire approved schools

Boys at an approved school in North Yorkshire were given an experimental drug without their parents' consent in the 1960s, National Archives files show.

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An anti-epilepsy drug was given to the most disruptive boys at Richmond Hill Approved School , after Home Office doctors gave their consent.

A request was also approved by the Home office to give girls at Springhead Park Approved School in Rothwell, a powerful sedative - but it was blocked by the school’s managers.

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The BBC said the plans for the drug were put forward by a psychiatrist attached to Richmond Hill for use on “irritable restless and aggressive” youngsters.

Home Office psychiatrist Dr Pamela Mason agreed, saying they were the boys that “can produce considerable problems within a school.” She recommended “maximum support.”

The trial of the drug Beclamide went ahead in 1968 for six months, with some children given the drug, others a placebo.

But there was no record of any result.