Glebe House School at Hunstanton given formal warning notice

Glebe House School, in Hunstanton Picture: Chris Bishop

Glebe House School, in Hunstanton Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Matthew Usher

An independent school where teaching, management and early years provision are 'outstanding' has been warned that it must improve after 'serious failings'.

Glebe House School in Hunstanton was inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in October.

In its report, the ISI said the school does not meet all of the required standards.

It said Glebe House does not meet standards regarding the welfare, health and safety of pupils.

It says the school must carry out checks to ensure new staff have not been banned from teaching before they start work. It should also carry out medical fitness tests on staff.

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In its final recommendation, it says the proprietor must ensure leadership and management have 'sufficient skills and knowledge' to fulfil their responsibilities effectively.

The warning flies in the face of an inspectors' report which says early years provision at the school, which has 160 boarding and day pupils, is 'outstanding'.

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It says: 'Children make good and often excellent progress in their learning and development in relation to their starting points. This is because staff ensure they get to know children well and plan highly effectively to meet their needs. They are well-prepared for the move to their next stage of education. Individual needs are catered for extremely well, notably those for children who require additional support for medical and special educational needs.'

It adds: 'The effectiveness of leadership and management is outstanding.'

The report praises the school's 'clear vision' and says it gives children 'an excellent start to their education'. It also hails teaching as 'outstanding'.

But a warning letter from the Department for Education says the ISI noted 'serious regulatory failings' at the school.

It says the secretary of state is satisfied that one or more of the independent school standards are not being met.

It gives the school until today to draw up an action plan setting out the steps it will take to meet all of the required standards.

It also warns that the secretary of state may reject an action plan and if this happens the school could be removed from the Register of Independent Schools.

Glebe House School headmaster Louis Taylor said: 'In the recent ISI inspection, Glebe House School was rated to have an outstanding nursery and also rated as excellent in pupil achievement and personal development in the main school, the highest possible grade.

'In the same inspection, there were areas brought to our attention regarding certain compliance issues that we corrected at the time that the inspectors visited, which however remain on the report. The Dfe has received our action plan which outlines the way in which we will ensure these issues do not occur in the future. The action plan is already in place and we look forward to a visit from the ISI in the near future to give us a clean bill of health in these areas.'

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