Pupils ‘held to floor’ at Peak Academy ‘dangerous moves’ says Ofsted

AN ACADEMY trust could lose its contract to run a special school in Dursley after a shocking Ofsted report revealed pupils ‘weren’t safe’.

The inspection conducted at Peak Academy in Dursley on June 29 and 30 found that staff ‘too often’ used ‘dangerous moves’ when physically removing pupils from lessons.

And it said little effort was made to see if these physical interventions were appropriate or necessary and the trust does not listen to pupils’ views about their impact.

The report says that there was a ‘poor culture’ of safeguarding and that the local authority ‘does not have confidence in the school’s ability to keep pupils safe’.

Pupils were frequently bullied and were not confident that staff would tackle this and school leaders did not respond appropriately when concerns about incidents that happened in the school were raised.

The alarming findings have led to the White Horse Federation being told that things need to drastically improve or it faces losing the school.

The Department for Education issued the trust with a Termination Warning Notice asking it to send evidence of improvements by October 20.

Hannah Woodhouse, regional schools commissioner for the south west, will now consider the evidence before making a decision on whether or not to cancel the trust’s funding agreement for Peak Academy.

A spokesperson for the White Horse Federation said: “The trust and school leaders are working with external agencies to implement a rapid improvement plan.

“Changes have already been made which have addressed the issues highlighted within the Ofsted report.

“The White Horse Federation accepts its responsibility to safeguard children within its schools and will do whatever it takes to restore levels of confidence in the Peak Academy’s ability to protect children.”

The school currently has 72 pupils on its register and caters for children with social, emotional and mental health needs.

The trust manages 32 schools.

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