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Greenwich private school given worst possible rating as inspectors raise safeguarding concerns – South London News

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A private school in Woolwich has been slammed by Ofsted for leaving students “not prepared for life in modern Britain”.

Greenwich Engineering and Medical School was given the worst rating possible, inadequate, in every category.

The school caters for students in Years 10 to 13 who are offered “intensive” secondary and post-secondary education.

It says it provides a pathway to those who want to work in engineering and medicine.

The independent school describes itself as “specialists” in these subjects and teaches class sizes between five and 10 with annual fees for day students of  between £10,000 and £12,500.

But Ofsted has criticised various elements of the school in a report released last week.

An inspection made at the end of last year found students were left ill-equipped for the outside world.

The inspector wrote: “Pupils behave sensibly in lessons and concentrate on their learning. Classrooms are calm and orderly.

“However, the lack of a well-planned personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) education programme means pupils do not learn about important issues, including harassment and bullying.

“Leaders do not ensure that pupils learn how to keep themselves safe from harm, including in the wider community. Pupils are not prepared for life in modern Britain.”

The report comes to damning conclusions about staff training on safeguarding.

The report says: “Leaders, including the proprietor, have not ensured that safeguarding arrangements are effective. Staff are not trained in the latest statutory safeguarding guidance.

“Leaders do not keep records of any concerns about pupils’ safety and welfare. They do not take effective action when concerns are raised. This puts pupils’ safety at risk.”

The school does receive praise in its first ever Ofsted report.

The inspector notes good behaviour that doesn’t disrupt teaching, and appreciates small classroom sizes which allows “personalised support” for students.

But these compliments are overshadowed by concerns noted elsewhere.

The inspector says there was “no up-to-date admissions record”, criticises the school for not establishing a “culture of safety and vigilance” and says staff are not clear what to do when students voice concerns.

There are also concerns over the school not ensuring students have access to shower facilities after PE lessons.

A number of recommendations are made for the independent school, including broadening the curriculum, better safeguarding, and ensuring students have access to showers.

The proprietor of Greenwich Engineering and Medical school Philip Onwuachi  said changes were being made as a result.

He said: “Following our Ofsted inspection and report, we have taken the decision to appoint a principal to lead the school through this difficult phase.

“As proprietor I am disappointed the Ofsted inspection did not produce the desired outcome. Our new principal is an experienced practitioner with 18 years school experience within and outside of the UK.

“We are committed to fulfilling our goal of serving the young ethnic minority children in the Greenwich community, and of providing good quality and successful education.

“It certainly is a challenging task ahead, but with the restructured leadership, the Ofsted recommendations will be actioned in detail.”

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