School takes action after being told it must improve health and safety

PUBLISHED: 14:22 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:24 12 March 2019

Sacred Heart School in Swaffham where the senior school is to close but a new primary could be opened. Picture Matthew Usher.

Sacred Heart School in Swaffham where the senior school is to close but a new primary could be opened. Picture Matthew Usher.

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The head of an independent school which was told it must take action to meet health and safety requirements has said that the recommended improvements have now been carried out.

A report from the Independent Schools Inspectorate into Sacred Heart School in Swaffham found that “health and safety requirements, including those relating to fire safety” were not being met and that there were “oversights in the testing of electrical equipment and in the logging of safety checks and maintenance repairs.”

Sacred Heart, which appeared in Channel 5 show Bad Habits, is currently fundraising to keep operating.

A consultation process is currently underway for a new voluntary aided school which could be set up in its place, which will be run by the same staff.

The school was given a number of action points to follow up on, including ensuring that electrical equipment is tested consistently and that fire risk assessments are carried out regularly.

Head of the school Sister Francis said: “We have the action plan and have dealt with it.

“They are very small things and have all been completed. We had to do some testing and that is all done now.

“There are a lot of the positive things in the report. Our educational quality is good.”

The action plan has included the school paying for a legionella check and an annual fire risk assessment with a follow up.

Steps have also been taken to ensure that lines of responsibility for health and safety and fire safety are clear and that “monitoring by leadership, management and governance is strengthened”.

The report said that “pupils’ basic skills are well established in all subjects” and “students achieve high standards in music, drama and sport”.

The inspector also pointed out that pupils at the school have “a strong sense of service to the community” and that their “spiritual and moral awareness is highly developed”, adding that the “quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements is good”.

However, it was recommended that staff “challenge pupils more consistently to apply and to extend their skills in pursuing enquiries and writing at length”.

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