Staff's fears over pupil safety at special school near Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Pupils turned up for classes at a Shropshire special school armed with knives, sticks and a BB gun, a watchdog's report has revealed.

Three quarters of the staff at Cruckton Hall School, near Shrewsbury, also said they did not feel young people there were safe.

The claims were made in an Ofsted inspection report released today which rated the school as "inadequate".

Cruckton Hall is a privately owned home that gives education and care to boys with learning difficulties, specifically autistic spectrum conditions.

The inspection was carried out in June and found there were serious and widespread failures resulting in children and young people not being safeguarded.

The school, which can accommodate up to 92 residential students, is also reported as not meeting the differing needs of individual pupils.

The Ofsted report contained concerns voiced by parents of students, including worries about staffing levels and a desire "get back a school we once loved". Another parent said: "I have never known bullying like this in the past; I am worried."

The report also stated that 75 per cent of staff surveyed through questionnaires or interviews reported that they did not feel young people are safe at the school. One member of staff raised concerns that some pupils came to school armed with knives, sticks and a BB gun.

Ofsted state that a children's home rated as inadequate is "providing services where there are widespread and serious failures that create or leave children and young people being harmed or at risk of harm, or result in children looked after not having their welfare safeguarded and promoted".


To improve, the school has been given a list of statutory requirements that it has complete before the home can meet the Care Standards Act 2000 and Children's Home (England) Regulations 2015.

These requirements include providing better protection of children, raising education standards and raising leadership and management levels to meet the required quality standard.

The children's home has been given until August 2 to meet those statutory requirements.

While the overall assessment was inadequate, inspectors acknowledged the school displayed some strengths. They found that young people are supported by care staff that want the best for them and are given opportunities to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. And where staff work closely with the psychologist team, they are successful in securing a wrap-around service that is effective in reducing risk, anxiety and behaviour.

Cruckton Hall declined to comment.

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