Two primary school managers found guilty of running illegal secondary school in Park Royal
PUBLISHED: 14:30 05 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:30 05 March 2020
Two managers of a Park Royal primary school have been convicted of running an illegal secondary school for 66 children on the floor above.
Suleyman Folami, 59, and Mujanet Daniah, 41, were found guilty on March 4 at Westminster Magistrates Court and will be sentenced on March 25.
Advance Education Centre (AEC), the trust responsible for running the registered independent school of the same name in Abbey Road, was also found guilty and will be sentenced the same day.
Former AEC chairman Mohammad Dauhoo, 41, was found guilty of neglecting his duties and ordered to pay £1,325.
Schools must be registered with the Department of Education if five or more children attend for most of their education.
The court heard that Ofsted's unregistered schools taskforce inspected the Brent site three times between 2018 and 2019.
Inspectors found that the ground floor of the building was being used as a registered school, but the floor above had been set aside to teach children of secondary school age.
They discovered 66 children were being taught on the upper floor while attending for at least 25 hours a week.
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Student workbooks and teacher plans showed it set homework, issued detentions and was operating as a full-time school.
Mr Folami and Ms Daniah claimed they were offering a supplementary school.
After the first visit they told Ofsted they had reduced the number of teaching hours but inspections in March showed no change in the school's operating model.
Days after the first inspection, minutes from a board meeting showed Mr Dauhoo was present when the trust discussed Ofsted's concerns about the 'supplementary school'.
In court he admitted it was his responsibility, as chairman at the time, to oversee both schools.
A registration application submitted for the supplementary site in April 2019 was rejected.
Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot described the case as the most serious example of an offence of this kind she had presided over.
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, said: "This was an illegal school. The people in charge of running it successfully registered their legal school and were fully aware of the correct procedure, but despite repeated inspections chose to flout the law.
"Unregistered schools by their very nature put children's well-being at risk. We will continue to expose these places and make sure they register and operate legally or cease operating."