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Ofsted tells Acton’s The Japanese School that it is “inadequate” and has “not ensured compliance with all the independent school standards”

An independent school in Acton has been given an “inadequate” rating by school inspector Ofsted.

The Japanese School, which was established in 1976 and moved to its Acton site in 1987, had Ofsted inspectors visiting from 6 June to 8 June 2023 and offer the following findings based on its inspection of the school, its teams and how children are being taught.

Safeguarding was a key concern, the inspectors said: “The proprietor body and school leaders have not ensured that the school’s arrangements for safeguarding are effective. They have also not ensured compliance with all the independent school standards.”

The inspectors said: “Leaders have not followed statutory guidance when appointing new staff to the school. Staff do not have a secure enough understanding of some of the key risks to which pupils may be vulnerable. Consequently, leaders’ approach to ensuring that pupils are kept safe from potential harm is not effective.”

The inspectors added: “The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective. Recruitment processes for vetting new staff’s suitability to work with pupils are weak. Several of the required checks on leaders’ and staff’s suitability to work with pupils have not been carried out. For example, leaders have not ensured that Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks have been completed for all new members of staff, particularly those who arrive from overseas. Additionally, leaders have not complied with the statutory requirements for schools to obtain a separate barred list check if a member of staff works with pupils before a DBS certificate is available. Statutory prohibition from teaching checks have not been carried out.”

The school, which is on the site of the former Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls has 299 pupils on its roll aged from 6 to 15 and parents £3,741 for their children to be taught there.

The Ofsted inspection did also highlight some areas where the school is working such as respect among pupils for each other: “Pupils enjoy coming to school. This is reflected in their very high rates of attendance. Pupils are kind towards others and go out of their way to support their peers, including when new pupils join the school. They welcome new pupils warmly because many pupils remember what it was like for themselves not so long ago. Any misbehaviours, including bullying, are a rarity. Should they have any concerns, pupils know they can approach a trusted member of staff who will readily help them.”

It also added: “The atmosphere in classrooms is underpinned by a very strong culture of ambition. It is expected and routine among pupils to strive to achieve well. As a result, they engage fully in their lessons and even low-level disruption is rare. These attitudes play a major role in pupils’ academic success.”

The report further adds: “The proprietor body does not ensure that members of the proprietor body and school leaders have the necessary expertise and knowledge to make sure that the school complies consistently with all of the independent school standards. They have not established suitable and effective arrangements for sharing key information, including in relation to safeguarding, when leaders arrive from or return to Japan. ”

Over the last nine years, the school has also been given “Requires Improvement” three times by Ofsted and “Inadequate” in two years – 2023 and 2018.

EALING.NEWS reached out to The Japanese School for a comment.

Click here to read the full Ofsted report on The Japanese School in Acton

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