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Ofsted discover more problems at failing boarding school in Queen’s Park

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:01 23 February 2014

Bales College is in Queen's Park (Pic credit: Google streetview)

Bales College is in Queen's Park (Pic credit: Google streetview)

Archant

Inspectors returning to check on the progress of a failing £18,450-a-year boarding school in Queen’s Park have uncovered yet more problems.

Ofsted inspectors outlined a series of changes which had to be made at Bales College, in Harrow Road, after the school was found to be “inadequate” in October last year.

But a monitoring inspection has revealed it has yet to make many of the improvements inspectors had demanded - and uncovered yet more areas which need urgent improvement.

This included improving the “inconsistently applied” cleaning arrangements - particularly obvious in the bathrooms used by the 10 boarders. Inspectors also noted the boarders’ kitchens - which are due for refurbishment - are not in use, with students given money at the weekend to get their own food, creating “a dependency on takeaway food”.

The report also reveals “all the failed curriculum regulations remain unmet”, while classrooms remain “uninspiring learning environments”.

The independent school - which also has around 80 number of day pupils on its register, paying between £5,025 and £10,650 a year - has made improvements in some areas, however.

Bales College commissioned an independent fire safety and risk assessment audit in reaction to October’s report, and took immediate remedial action to improve security and fire safety. Staff has also now received child protection training, after it was found the school’s policy was “neither fully understood nor implemented”.

But guidance on how to deal with missing pupils still “lacks clear details”, while staff using their own mobiles to keep in contact with boarders “puts them all at risk”.


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