Following a sharp decline in pupil numbers, Athelstan House School has informed the Department for Education (DfE) of its closure on 6 July 2018.
The news was brought to light during a recent Ofsted inspection which found that the school on Percy Road, ‘required improvement’ for not meeting all of the independent school standards.
The school permanently closed its early years and Year 1 provision at the end of the academic year 2016/17. Five pupils remain on roll in Year 2. Leaders have been honest to Ofsted and the DfE about the financial challenges in maintaining a declining school roll.
They acknowledge that they have not kept abreast of the latest statutory guidance or, in the last year, on top of whole-school development planning and review. They have focused on the quality of teaching and learning and pupils’ personal development and well-being.
Consequently, the school has continued to meet all the independent standards linked to the quality of education provided and pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
It was highlighted that the headteacher has created a culture of care, where a clear message prevails that only the best education will do, even as the school is preparing to close.
The school also has a well-constructed curriculum which includes carefully considered visits to enrich pupils’ learning experiences. It is a strength of the school. Broad and balanced, it gives equal weight to academic achievement and personal development. As a result, pupils are considerate and thoughtful to others. They accept differences and are respectful of all people.
It is not known what will happen with the building following the school’s closure.