Northease Manor school takes action over Ofsted report

Northease Manor School
Image caption Ofsted found Northease Manor School pupils were "at risk of harm"

An East Sussex school said it was taking legal action against education watchdog Ofsted after it received a damning inspection report.

Northease Manor School, near Lewes, was rated as "inadequate" in all areas following its most recent inspection in February.

Inspectors found the school failed to safeguard pupils' welfare and safety.

In a previous inspection the independent school had been rated as "outstanding" in almost all areas.

The emergency unannounced inspection into boarding provision at the school was carried out after a complaint from a parent who raised "safeguarding concerns".

'Risk of harm'

Northease Manor is an independent day and weekly boarding special school for pupils between 10 and 17.

The report said: "Pupils' health, safety and welfare are not secured within the residential provision."

Inspectors found risks were not identified by senior staff which "resulted in residential pupil's potentially being at risk of harm".

"The older boys and the girls report that they mostly enjoy their time boarding in their respective houses."

In a statement, the school said: "The inspection of our boarding facilities remains an ongoing legal dispute between the school and Ofsted.

"The school has a very strong track record in our previous Ofsted.

"We are challenging various aspects of the process, behaviour and stance of this Ofsted inspection, which we believe has led to this outcome."

"We take any form of inspection seriously, however and are confident that future inspections will deem us to be strong."

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