Hove private school rated Inadequate by Ofsted

  • 28th February 2024

Drive Preparatory School in Hove has been downgraded to Inadequate following an inspection in November, down from Good at its last inspection five years ago, Brighton and Hove News has reported.

Drive teaches pupils aged seven to 16. Around 40% of its 46 pupils have an education, health and care (EHC) plan and some have a history of low attendance.

Inspectors criticised the school’s approach to teaching reading, staff training and compliance with safeguarding and curriculum requirements. It added that it failed to meet independent school standards on the quality of education provided, the welfare, health and safety of pupils and the quality of leadership in and management of schools.

Inspectors wrote in the report: “The school has no clear priorities at present.

“Staff training and development opportunities are very limited.

“Neither the headteacher, nor the proprietor demonstrate the knowledge and understanding necessary to carry out their roles effectively.

“The proprietor has not ensured effective governance arrangements are in place.

“The school relies too heavily on the expertise of individual teachers to ensure that pupils receive a good quality of education.

“The school has not considered carefully enough what pupils need to learn at each stage to be ready to begin their GCSE programme in Year 10.”

The inspectors recommended all staff be trained in early reading instruction and safeguarding. The report added that while the school’s environment has had a positive effect on attendance for some, its efforts to improve attendance are not analysed and leaders don’t always know when strategies are working.

Headteacher Sue Parkinson said the report is a snapshot judgement about a safeguarding issue that was soon resolved. The school has complained about the report.

Parkinson said: “The safeguarding issue did not involve anybody coming to the school and did not involve any child getting harmed. It’s as simple as that. If any school has got a safeguarding concern – and ours are sorted, literally immediately, it didn’t involve any changes – then leadership and management automatically gets a judgement of Inadequate.”

“Also, we feel that Ofsted didn’t understand the actual nature of the school. It’s a snapshot judgement and it focuses on primary age children, but we’re 90% secondary.

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