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Derby school for deaf ‘inadequate’

Posted in: Public Liability 

Following an inspection carried out by Ofsted last December, the residential Royal School for the Deaf in Derby has been put into special measures. This follows the discovery by inspectors that children were being put at risk of grooming and that pupil safety was not being prioritised.  Following December’s inspection, a week long, unannounced inspection carried out in March found that recommendations for improvement had still not been implemented, and that “emergency safeguarding systems put in place by leaders” since the December inspection were “unsound”.

December’s report found the school to be operating inadequately in five key areas; residential pupil safety, leadership, outcomes for residential pupils, overall effectiveness and quality of residential provision and care.

The key findings were:

  • Communal living space and bedrooms were ill maintained and that standards varied dependent on residential blocks
  • Risk assessment and risk management was ineffective leaving pupils at risk of harm
  • Residential pupils’ sense of security was compromised due to the knowledge that concerns raised by peers about safety had not been acted upon
  • The principle had failed to take sufficient action to ensure that pupils did not come to harm and safeguarding procedures were ignored

Overall, pupils’ concerns had been ignored leaving residential students at risk of significant harm. Clerk to the governors, Mr Tony Quipp, said “a full review of the school’s leadership and governance” was being conducted in line with the report’s recommendations. 

A new acting principle, Helen Shepherd, is working with the Derby City Safeguarding Children’s board to implement safety procedures in the school. A new executive head teacher is set to be appointed, together with a strengthened governing body, as soon as possible.

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