Smith & Williamson administrators called to criticised school

SMITH & WILLIAMSON ADMINISTRATORS have been called to Stanbridge Earls School, which earlier this year was criticised for the way it handled a pupil’s rape claim.

In January, Stanbridge Earls School was criticised for failing to protect a vulnerable pupil who said she was raped twice by students. Since then pupil members have dropped and administrators have been called this week.

Greg Palfrey and David Blankam from Smith & Williamson were appointed joint administrators.

Stanbridge Earls needed 90 students to be financially viable, however 82 pupils registered for the new term at the £40,000 a year school, the BBC reports.

According to the administrators, if the school had opened it would only have enough cash to see it through to the end of one term. They added that the majority of staff, 140, have been made redundant.

A statement from the administrators said: “While the school will be unable to open this coming term, we believe there are parties who might be interested in opening a school on the 50 acre site, and we will be speaking with them as soon as we can.

“There might also be other uses for the property and assets, and we will be exploring every avenue.”

Stanbridge Earls, for children with special educational needs based in Romsey Hampshire, came under fire for excluding a girl after her allegation of rape.

The school at the time said she had breached rules prohibiting engagement in sexual activity on school grounds. The parents of the girl started legal proceedings against the discrimination.

A tribunal hearing into the situation said it had “grave concerns” about safeguarding at the school. It also said head teacher Peter Trythall’s, conduct “borders on contempt for statutory duties”.

An Ofsted inspection after the tribunal also found serious concerns about safeguarding.

Following the tribunal and Ofsted inspection two proposed takeovers of the school fell through.

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