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Vulnerable children left in lurch as £40,000-a-year school prepares to close

PUBLISHED: 14:39 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 02 July 2019

Cre8 Futures' original premises in Southgates Road, Great Yarmouth, from which it has since moved. Parents say the independent school has suddenly shut this week. Picture: Submitted

Cre8 Futures' original premises in Southgates Road, Great Yarmouth, from which it has since moved. Parents say the independent school has suddenly shut this week. Picture: Submitted

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There is mystery today over the future of a struggling Norfolk school for vulnerable children, amid fears it has closed.

The Old Vicarage in Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, wher Cre8 Futures Learning Centre moved to earlier this year. Picture: GoogleThe Old Vicarage in Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, wher Cre8 Futures Learning Centre moved to earlier this year. Picture: Google

Cre8 Futures Learning Centre in Great Yarmouth is set to close at the end of the academic year.

Parents are understood to have been informed of the school's imminent closure and its Facebook page has already been shut down.

According to Ofsted, there are nine pupils on its roll, three of whom have been referred by Norfolk County Council, for whom it charges annual fees of up to £40,000 each.

One parent said she had struggled to contact the school's directors for an explanation about its sudden closure, adding that her son had been left distraught by the interruption to his education.

The school has been contacted for comment.

A county council spokesman said the authority would work with families to help them find alternative education provision.

Ofsted inspectors judged Cre8 Futures to be inadequate on their first visit in October 2018, saying a lack of communication between directors had prevented them providing an adequate education to its pupils, who suffer from social, emotional and mental health problems.

An additional inspection in April found progress had been "far too slow" and that the school had been forced to move three times after its original home in Southgates Road, where it opened in April 2018, was deemed unsafe for children.

In their first report Ofsted inspectors said there had been a "relationship breakdown" between the school's directors and that there was little in the way of strategic planning for the school.

They said work was needed on the curriculum and systems for tackling poor attendance.

A monitoring report, released in June, said a revised action plan was being written and that the school was still failing to meet independent school standards in areas such as pupil safety and welfare and quality of education.

It also gave details of the school's struggle to find suitable long-term premises since October 2018. After leaving Southgates Road the centre moved temporarily to Horatio House in Lowestoft, then to the Great Yarmouth Community Trust headquarters, then again to The Old Vicarage in Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, its registered address at the time of the monitoring inspection.

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