AN INDEPENDENT school which costs up to £15,000 a year to attend has been issued with a notice from the Department of Education after failing regulatory requirements.

Daneshill School, in Stratfield Turgis, Hook was inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in January 2020 and was found to have failed various required standards.

The Independent Education and Boarding Team has since issued a notice from the Secretary of State for Education requiring an action plan from the school to detail the steps that will be taken to meet the standards.

The notice was not issued until October 2020 because of the pandemic, with the letter stating: “…we believed that the need for regulatory action in relation to your school was less pressing while only a small number of children were present in the school under the pandemic lockdown arrangements”.

This is despite the inspection taking place in January last year - before the pandemic began.

The co-educational preparatory school led by James Massey, which has 274 pupils age three to 13, was asked to submit its action plan by November 2020.

Daneshill, founded in 1950 and owned by Wellington Estate Education, was found to have failed various required standards during the inspection.

The report said arrangements were not always made to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils.

It found the school did not always ensure that teaching staff were checked against the list of those prohibited from teaching or have at least two references before they start work.

It did not have an asbestos management plan kept under regular review and did not always ensure that staff have medical checks before they start work.

The premises were “not always maintained to a standard commensurate with health and safety”, the inspection report said.

Standards relating to leadership and management were not met.

The report said: “The proprietor does not always ensure that the leadership and management demonstrate good skills and knowledge, and fulfil their responsibilities effectively, so that the standards are consistently met, and that the wellbeing of pupils is actively promoted.”

Standards relating to the quality of education; spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development; and the handling of complaints were all met.

The report said: “The teaching enables pupils to make good progress, encompasses effective behaviour management and is supported by suitable resources.”

Mr Massey, the headmaster, said: “The Independent Schools Inspectorate carried out a regulatory compliance inspection of Daneshill in January 2020.

“Despite meeting the vast majority of requirements there were some areas of non-compliance highlighted. These concerned specific elements of our staff recruitment process and site maintenance records.

“These issues were addressed within a very short time of the inspection itself and a plan, detailing action already taken, was duly submitted and accepted.”