Chigwell school which is set to close is rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in latest report

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 May 2020

The Anderson School in Chigwell. Picture: Steve Hickey/NAS

The Anderson School in Chigwell. Picture: Steve Hickey/NAS


The Anderson School for autistic children, which is due to shut down this summer, has been rated as Inadequate by Ofsted.

The school in Chigwell, which was opened in September 2017 by charity the National Autistic Society (NAS), has had complaints but also seen a petition for parents and pupils to keep it open.

But the chances of the school not closing now look very slim after Ofsted rated it Inadequate in almost every category including the quality of education, behaviour and attitude, personal development, leadership and management.

The report found staff expect too little of their students and lack the skills to tailor a curriculum to pupils’ specific needs.

Caroline Stevens, chief executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “This is a deeply disappointing report, which underlines the extent of the difficulties the school has been facing.

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“We have been running good and outstanding schools for over 50 years and know how challenging it can be to open a specialist school, but our school in Chigwell had particular problems, ever since it opened in 2017.

“It can take established schools three years or more to overcome serious problems and get up to the right standards. And we believe it could take our school in Chigwell even longer.

“We simply cannot continue running a school that does not consistently reach expected standards and won’t do so for years.

“It simply wouldn’t be right, which is why we took the difficult decision to close the school at the end of the summer term.

“We understand how deeply disappointed many students, parents and carers are and want to reassure them that our focus is on supporting our students through this difficult time and helping them to prepare for the next stage of their education.

“We know there are questions about the school site and want to reassure people that we are committed to ensuring that it is used to benefit autistic children and young people.

“We are still considering the options and are talking to other organisations about possible opportunities.”

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