Emergency inspection at Sheffield boarding school

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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WORK has been carried out to make essential improvements at a Sheffield boys’ boarding school – after an emergency inspection late last year found serious problems.

Inspectors arrived unannounced at Jamia A-Hudaa, an independent Muslim school for 11 to 18-year-olds based at the old Park House Secondary in Tinsley.

They were acting on allegations the fabric of the building was in poor condition, bedrooms were too cramped, staffing levels were too low and fire prevention measures were inadequate.

The two-day visit found dirty and unhygienic toilets and washrooms, and basic poorly decorated bedrooms which the boys said were too cold. Most had graffiti on walls or wardrobes, carpets were sticky and dirty and some of the ceilings had leaks.

The pupils also felt their privacy was being compromised by CCTV cameras in the washrooms, and inspectors agreed they were too invasive.

The inspection team felt the school was failing to meet national minimum standards in a number of areas, including staff not receiving sufficient guidance, training, and support for duties in a boarding school.

And while many aspects of fire prevention policy were sound, the school was breaching rules by failing to update its fire risk assessments.

A follow-up visit by inspectors found work has now been completed to make dormitories, washrooms and toilets more comfortable and clean.

A cleaner is working there twice a day and each dorm now has a vacuum cleaner.

CCTV had been turned off in washrooms and toilets, while closer checks were being kept on staff hours and training.

But inspectors found the school had made inadequate progress in fire safety. Only four of nine improvements ordered by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service had been met, with emergency lighting in the dorm not yet installed and the fire alarm system not being kept in efficient working order.

The school has now been asked to comply with all fire regulations.