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‘Inappropriate’ pupil behaviour and lack of staff training among concerns at fee-paying school

A private school near the Lincolnshire border has fallen behind in meeting necessary standards, according to its latest report. Inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, similar to Ofsted, visited Wellow House School between October 3 and October 5, 2023.

They found the school was not as effective as it should be in its safeguarding, the quality of education, pupils’ wellbeing, and leadership and management, Nottinghamshire Live reports. The report states: “The proprietor has not ensured that leaders implement some of the school’s policies and procedures effectively. Consequently, some independent school standards are not met and this has had an impact on how well the proprietors ensure that leaders promote the wellbeing of the pupils.

“The proprietor has not ensured that leaders have the required skills and knowledge to fulfil their responsibilities effectively, including in maintaining effective safeguarding.” At the time of inspection, the school had 189 pupils between the ages of three and 13, however, the school has requested to increase their current capacity to 270 pupils and the age to 16.

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The school charges a term fee of between £2,670 and £4,230 depending on which year group a pupil is in, and is located off Newark Road in Wellow, near Ollerton. Inspectors said: “Leaders have requested to increase pupil numbers. The current premises do not have the space to admit more pupils.

“Leaders have not adapted classrooms sufficiently well to make it possible to teach all the activities required by the GCSE curriculum.” It continues: “Insufficient consideration has been given to the pastoral needs of the older pupils, which has resulted in instances of inappropriate behaviour from pupils in lessons that is not managed effectively.

“Staff without expertise and experience of teaching the older age range were not provided with the training and timely guidance needed to ensure they maintain effective and appropriate relationships with the oldest pupils. This is now being provided, alongside additional pastoral support for older pupils, resulting in a more appropriate response to their needs and behaviour.”

Inspectors say that the school must ensure that those with leadership and management responsibilities can demonstrate good skills and knowledge to their role, fulfil responsibilities and promote the well-being of students. This is to ensure that the school can provide suitable career guidance, pupils can be better supported, and subject curriculums are taught and implemented effectively.

Headteacher of the school, Stephen Thompson, said: “I am personally determined to bring the ISI back to Wellow as soon as possible and show them that those areas that were found to be inconsistent or problematic have been swiftly and comprehensively resolved. The findings in the educational quality of the school are a testament to the care and attention of our staff in fostering and cultivating such a warm, welcoming, and safe environment in which our pupils can thrive.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to academic and developmental excellence for all our pupils.”

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