Failing £40,000-a-year independent school ordered to improve by government
A failing £40,000-a-year independent school has been told by the Department for Education that it must improve or risk being struck off the schools register.
The warning notice sent to Cre8 Futures Learning Centre in Great Yarmouth said “serious regulatory failings” had been uncovered by Ofsted, which has rated the school “inadequate”.
The independent school in Southgates Road, which opened in April 2018, charges annual fees of up to £40,000 according to Ofsted – comparable to some of the country’s top fee-paying schools.
It had seven pupils on its roll aged 12 to 16 at the time of its first Ofsted inspection last year – all of whom were funded by Norfolk County Council.
During the inspection significant failures were discovered including in safeguarding, teaching and governance.
Inspectors said there had been a “relationship breakdown” between the school’s directors and that a subsequent lack of communication had affected leaders’ ability “to provide adequate provision across many areas of the school’s work”.
The report said there was “little in the way of strategic planning” and that systems for managing pupils’ behaviour and attendance needed to improve.
The warning notice, sent shortly after the Ofsted report was released in December 2018, ordered the school to submit an action plan to the Department for Education “specifying the steps that will be taken”.
Standards said to require improvement include the quality of education, welfare and safety of pupils, suitability of staff and quality of management.
After the Ofsted report was published in December a council spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring that Norfolk’s children and young people receive a good education.
“Two years ago, Norfolk County Council needed to identify additional capacity for children needing specialist education following permanent exclusion. Cre8 was a new provider and we commissioned a small number of placements. We continue to fund seven pupils there.
“Cre8 have an action plan for improvement and we continue to monitor placements closely and to provide advice and support.”