A south London special school that charges parents up to £95,000 per year was rated inadequate by Ofsted after inspectors found teachers weren’t trained to keep children safe. 

Staff at The Bridge SEN School in Southwark weren’t properly trained to safeguard youngsters even though they taught under 18s with complex special educational needs, an inspection report published on Tuesday said. 

Ofsted found school leaders hadn’t written a risk assessment of the school site, despite it being next to a busy main road. 

The school’s owner admitted that the premises weren’t fit for purpose during their visits in November. 

The report said: “The vulnerable pupils at The Bridge have complex special educational needs and/or disabilities. Leaders do not have effective systems and processes to safeguard these pupils.

“This is because staff have been trained in safeguarding adults, but they are not trained to safeguard children under 18, or to physically intervene and restrain pupils if necessary.”

It continued: “The school uses shared premises on both sides of a very busy main road. There are no written risk assessments of these premises. 

“The proprietor acknowledges that the premises are not fit for purpose and is in the process of finding a new building.”

Ofsted said the school, which is based on the Old Kent Road, was in breach of equality laws because leaders couldn’t prove how they intended to make the curriculum more accessible. 

Inspectors criticised the school’s managers for failing to lead the school effectively. The report says: “Leadership, management and governance are weak. Policies were found to be out-of-date. Documentation, such as certificates and records of fire safety checks, is disorganised. 

“The school is not compliant with Schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. This is because the school’s accessibility plan does not sufficiently consider what leaders plan to do to make the curriculum and information more accessible.”

Inspectors also noted the school lacked a medical room, changing rooms and outdoor lighting.

The Bridge SEN School teaches pupils aged 14 to 25 with special educational needs, including autism.

It was the school’s first standard inspection since it opened its doors in September 2020. 

The Bridge SEN school declined to comment.

Headteacher, James Nuttall, said the school would be publishing a statement about the report on its website on Thursday.

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