A SCHOOL for excluded children could close its doors following a damming Ofsted report.
The Auckland Education Centre, in Smith’s Wood, was rated ‘Inadequate’ by the education watchdog in all areas following an inspection last autumn.
The report said there was a “steep decline in the quality of education and the safety of pupils” at the pupil referral unit.
Inspectors noted there was no awareness of the serious issues in relation to safeguarding, behaviour and in the quality of teaching.
During the inspection pupils were seen climbing through windows, scaling boundary fences and climbing to the top of the basketball goals by inspectors and some of the new or temporary staff did not have the confidence or support to manage the incidents.
Councillors at a Children, Education and Skills meeting on March 26 agreed to shut the facility, which supports vulnerable primary age pupils, on December 31.
A final decision is set to be made at Full Council on Tuesday (April 9) and permission will then be sought from the government’s education secretary Damian Hinds.
Council officers said an alternate option – in light of Ofsted’s report – was to convert the centre into an academy, but this was not deemed ‘viable or sustainable’.
At the time of the inspection there were 18 children registered at the education centre.
The council report stated if the closure was given the go ahead by government all of the existing pupils would be supported into other educational provision.
It added work is already underway for this and 14 children have either moved or have a permanent placement lined up to start this September.
For September this year, it is anticipated that all pupils will have been placed in suitable provisions, according to the council report.