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Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School pupils do not feel safe – report | #schoolsaftey

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Merchant Taylors’ is one of the leading private schools in north west England

A prestigious school on Merseyside is failing to keep all of its pupils safe and lacks the “leadership” to tackle “ongoing inappropriate behaviour”, an inspection has found.

Children targeted by older pupils at the private Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School said they did not always feel protected by staff.

Inspectors urged “immediate action” to address the safeguarding failings.

The school said it would not tolerate the behaviour of “a minority”.

The £13,000-a-year Crosby school, for boys aged 7 to 18, was inspected against the Independent School Standards but failed to meet requirements in three of eight categories.

Red flags were raised in the sections headed “spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils”, “welfare, health and safety” and “quality of leadership and management”.

The report seen by the BBC – which has been sent to parents but not published yet on the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) website – said: “The school does not meet all of the required standards in the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and associated requirements, and should take immediate action to remedy deficiencies.

“The school has drawn up an appropriate policy for safeguarding which provides suitable arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils. This has not been fully implemented because the school has not ensured the provision of a safe environment for all pupils.”

‘Wellbeing of pupils’

It found younger pupils did “not feel safe in certain areas of the school” due to the “ongoing inappropriate behaviour of older pupils in those areas” and that “respect was not promoted with regard to the protected characteristic of sex, as set out in the 2010 Equality Act”.

The inspection, which was conducted in May, said the school had not ensured that “the leadership and management, including governance, in particular with regard to the effective promotion of appropriate behaviour in school” and “do not always promote the wellbeing of pupils”.

Action points have been drawn up to address the failings, one on pupil welfare said: “The school must ensure that it provides a safe environment for all pupils who attend the school by responding to any concerns”.

Merchant Taylors’ fared well in other categories in the report, including its quality of education and suitability of staff.

But it was not the first time the school has been told to improve, after a critical ISI inspection in 2019, it received an official warning from the Department of Education over “serious regulatory failings”.

Responding to the latest inspection, head teacher Deiniol Williams said they were “committed to providing an excellent and inclusive learning environment for all pupils and staff”.

He added: “However, we are incredibly disappointed that the poor behaviour of a minority of pupils has undermined the efforts of the majority in our community, and it will not be tolerated.

“We have already taken robust action in relation to the behaviour highlighted by the inspectors and we are accelerating existing plans to establish and maintain a rigorous behaviour framework moving forward.

“We will not hesitate to exclude pupils whose behaviour falls below the high standards we expect at our school.”

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