A major multi academy trust has been given a Department for Education termination warning notice for one of its schools which was found to be off-rolling pupils and misused attendance figures.
Ormiston Denes Academy, in Lowestoft, was rated "inadequate" by Ofsted inspectors, who found the school had taken pupils off its roll in Year 11 who had been dual-registered at a pupil referral unit.
Now a regional schools commissioner has issued a termination warning notice for the school to Ormiston Academies Trust in response to the Ofsted findings.
Background: First three cases of off-rolling
Sue Baldwin, the regional schools commissioner for East of England and North East London has asked the trust what steps it has taken to ensure there is accurate attendance reporting and to address the inclusion and safeguarding issues identified in the Ofsted report.
The warning notice from Ms Baldwin said: “Of particular concern was Ofsted’s findings that: leaders have failed to pay due regard to the achievement, welfare and safety of a small but significant number of pupils; leaders cannot guarantee the safeguarding of pupils educated out of school; the persistent absence of a group of pupils has been too high for too long, the school’s misuse of attendance reporting and a significant minority of pupils are not making good progress.”
Ormiston Academies Trust, which runs 38 schools, said earlier this month that its was "extremely disappointed” that Ormiston Denes Academy had off-rolled pupils and misused attendance figures.
In a statement issued in response to the DfE warning, the trust said: “We have taken exceptionally seriously the areas of concern in the Ofsted report and we are extremely disappointed that they occurred.
"We have appointed a very experienced principal and have given the RSC clear assurances that there will be no repetition of these unacceptable practices and that it was an isolated incident.
"We have also shared our action plan to ensure the school’s improvement and are pleased that it is making good progress under the new principal.”