Give inspectors the power to break into suspected illegal schools, an Ofsted chief has demanded as he warns that “flimsy” laws mean that children are left in “shocking” conditions, reports The Telegraph.
Matthew Coffey, the chief operating officer at Ofsted, said that the individuals running unregistered schools are escaping prosecution, despite inspectors identifying hundreds of suspected illegal premises.
He said that inspectors need to gather enough evidence to show that individuals are breaking the law, but their efforts are hampered by a lack of powers and poorly worded legislation.
Mr Coffey said on one occasion, he accompanied a team of inspectors to a suspected illegal school, and only after breaking in could they discover the extent of the horrifying conditions.
“Some of these things are really frustrating, and some of my inspectors go and see this stuff and get really upset. It’s shocking, some of it it really is dreadfully shocking. And we need to stop that from happening.”
In January 2016, the Department for Education set up a special task force dedicated to investigating illegal schools. The taskforce has so far identified 291 suspected unregistered schools and issued warning notices to 38 schools which it suspects are operating illegally.
Since then, 27 have ceased operating illegally while 11 remain under criminal investigation. Inspection summary logs, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, reveal that a relatively high proportion of suspected illegal institutions are faith schools.
Read the full article Give us the power to break into illegal schools, Ofsted chief says
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