A SPECIAL school appears to have emerged from a crisis after an inspection revealed it had shown signs of recovery following a damning report into its standards last year.
The Lewis Charlton School, in Ashby, has been judged to have made ‘good progress’ since July 2012, when an Ofsted report uncovered significant issues with the way the school was being run, mostly relating to the health and safety of its pupils, who have various behavioural and emotional difficulties,
The school’s efforts to improve standards were recognised by Ofsted’s latest report, following revelations last year that its fire safety and health and safety policies were ‘inadequate’.
A ‘known fire hazard’ was said to have been left unattended at the school, in North Street, which charges parents up to £60,000 in annual fees.
It also emerged the school was unaware of its responsibility to notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority if members of staff were to be disciplined or dismissed due to unsuitability to work with children, while information required to be provided to parents was not available.
But in the 10 months since the findings the school has made significant progress to improve standards.
The report said: “Following the inspection the school devised an action plan that provided a suitable framework for dictating and monitoring its efforts to remedy the failings in regulations and standards that had been identified.
“It reviewed and improved a number of policies and procedures in both education and residential provision and members of staff undertook further training.
“The school’s approach to health and safety has been enhanced. The fire hazard that was identified at the last inspection has been rectified and a new process for monitoring the fire risk action plan for each of the school’s buildings is now in place.”
Head teacher Georgina Pearson said children had always felt safe at the school but recognised there had been ‘shortfalls’ regarding documentation.
She said: “We’ve firmed up on our documentation and are returning to our normal high standards. We’re back on track.”