Boarding school in Chislehurst has been deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted over a serious child protection issue

Ofsted inspectors found a boarding school had failed over a serious child protection allegation.

Darul Uloom London, off Perry Street in Chilslehurst, was first visited by inspectors in May 2017 and slammed as “inadequate”.

The all-boys Islamic school opened in 1992 and received ‘good’ for its first inspection in 2008.

But standards appear to have slipped, as subsequent Ofsted reports rated the school satisfactory in 2011, requires improvement in 2014 and the lowest rating of inadequate in 2018.

The first inadequate report found school leaders did not follow their own safeguarding policy after receiving an allegation of a serous child protection issue.

The first report stated: “They did not inform the local authority designated officer (LADO) or the Disclosure and Barring Service.

“This demonstrates a lack of understanding of senior staff in key safeguarding positions in the school and boarding provision.”

Trustees were also aware of the serious child protection allegation but no one took action in response to the concerns.

Kent Live

DfE releases 26 more private school warning notices

The government has published 26 more warning notices identifying failings at private schools around the country.

The notices, which cover December 2017 and this January, include special and religious schools, and warnings about poor safeguarding, teaching and facilities.

The Department for Education also published 27 reports issued to private schools in November earlier this month.

The existence of the warning notices was first revealed in December 2015 after a joint investigation by Schools Week and The Yorkshire Post obtained a damning dossier of the previously unpublished documents.

Schools Week FoI later found that 131 improvement notices were issued to independent schools between January and November 2016.

Lucton School, a boarding school in Herefordshire, was told it must improve safeguarding measures. The notice also criticised the school for its leadership and management and told it must improve how it handles complaints.

London’s Kensington Park School has been warned to improve safeguarding arrangements, particularly by identifying a person that boarders can “contact directly about personal problems or concerns at school” and ensuring anyone working with boarders has proper job descriptions and training. It must also ensure that checks are made on the criminal records and qualifications of staff.

St Michael’s School, a Catholic boarding school in Berkshire, was told to ensure all pupils receive “full-time supervised education” in a range of subjects and that they acquire speaking, listening, literacy and maths skills. It was also told to ensure it “encourages respect for other people”, provides better careers guidance and improves leadership, safeguarding arrangements and checks on staff.

Oxfordshire’s prestigious boarding Oratory School must improve safeguarding arrangements, leadership and checks on staff criminal records and qualifications. The Oratory Preparatory School received the same warning.

Schools Week

Rich families use ‘privilege to opt out’ of child services

Rich families are using “privilege” to disrupt or avoid child abuse investigations, a report has found.

Goldsmith’s University found wealthy households were effectively “opting out” of the child protection system.

Social workers had uncovered cases of sexual exploitation and emotional abuse, but found children’s services were biased towards poorer families.

Professor Claudia Bernard, who led the study, said neglect cases in affluent areas often went “under the radar“.

Prof Bernard told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “People have these deep-set beliefs that this is happening in poor, dysfunctional families.”

In one case parents of a young girl disclosing sexual abuse complained to the council about the investigation.

Social workers were then rebuffed by school nurses who said there was no way the child’s “great mum” would ignore such abuse.

Teenagers in private fee-paying and boarding schools, often isolated from their parents, had complex safeguarding needs, the report found.

Often the issues only came to authorities’ attention when parents were dealing with an acrimonious separation and needed a child welfare report, the study said.

The study called for social workers to be trained to deal with affluent families.

BBC News

Choir boarding schools at risk, association warns

“Choir Schools’ Association conference hears that independent sector is under political pressure and has ‘few friends at the moment

The risks to choir schools are as great today as they were 100 years ago, the chairman of the Choir Schools’ Association (CSA) has said.

Speaking at the association’s centenary conference, Paul Smith, headmaster of Hereford Cathedral School, highlighted the risks he believed were faced by schools that educate the UK’s cathedral and collegiate choristers.

He used his address at the conference in St Paul’s Cathedral to say: “For those of us in the independent sector, there can be little doubt that we have few friends at the moment.

“Politicians, of all shades, seem hell-bent on issuing ill-informed edicts, based upon lazy stereotypes, which purportedly seek to ensure the independent sector does its bit to justify charitable status.”

Is he really just talking about the boarding sector, riddled with child abuse scandals. Recent, ongoing ones, not even ones from wayback?

TES

Boarding school house master banned after sharing hotel bed with pupil

Panel finds teacher pursued inappropriate ‘sexually motivated’ relationship with pupil over several months

A private boarding school house master has been banned from teaching for life after a panel ruled that he slept in the same bed as a student and that his actions were “sexually motivated”.

Kevin Cooper travelled to London with a pupil, slept in the same hotel bed as her and met with her in restaurants, the Teaching Regulation Agency has found.

The 47-year-old, who had worked as a geography and information technology teacher at St James’ School in Grimsby, also communicated with the student on social media and met with her in a park.

A decision report published today from the panel said his actions had been “calculated, motivated and persisted over a period of several months”.

He was handed an indefinite prohibition order banning him from teacher and will not be able to apply to have it lifted.

TES

Repton School head leaves. Regulator has ‘serious concern’ over safeguarding incidents.

The headteacher of the prestigious Repton School is leaving to take up a new role.

Alastair Land will leave in April 2019 to become the new headmaster at the independent Harrow School in London.

A spokeswoman for the boarding school said the “search for Repton’s next headmaster has already begun”.

In recent weeks, news has broken of allegations against past and present members of staff at Repton.

Just last month, a watchdog expressed “expressed concern” over a number of reports of safeguarding-related incidents at the boarding school.

Derby Telegraph

Boarding schools send in the drug dogs

Boarding schools are carrying out random tests on hair, urine and saliva and searching pupils’ rooms with dogs amid fears about rising drug use.

One healthcare worker told The Times that some children he treated were buying illegal drugs over the internet and having them delivered. Head teachers say privately that the use, and variety, of recreational drugs among teenagers is increasing.

The Times (subscription)

Ex-Queen Ethelburga boarding school teacher banned for pupil relationship

A former teacher who had a sexual relationship with a sixth form pupil has been banned from teaching for life.

Dr Howard Britton, 64, taught economics at fee-paying boarding school Queen Ethelburga’s School, near York, between 2001 and 2005.

A disciplinary panel heard his sexual relationship with the girl began on the day of her final exams.

Dr Britton stopped teaching after the relationship ended due to his “disgust” at his behaviour, the panel heard.

BBC News

TES

Australia child abuse inquiry: Final recommendations released

A five-year inquiry into child sexual abuse in Australia has released its final report, making more than 400 recommendations.

The royal commission uncovered harrowing evidence of sexual abuse within institutions, including churches, boarding schools and sports clubs.

Since 2013, it has referred more than 2,500 allegations to authorities.

The final report, released on Friday, added 189 recommendations to 220 that had already been made public.

Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions. We will never know the true number,” the report said.

“It is not a case of a few ‘rotten apples’. Society’s major institutions have seriously failed.”

Religious ministers and school teachers were the most commonly reported perpetrators, the report said.

[Two inquiries in the UK into sexual abuse of children in boarding schools and other institutions are ongoing…]

BBC News