Family & Education

Ofsted cancels inspection fee for Charedi school that was visited in 'error'

Beis Malka in Salford had received bill for £2,000


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A Chasidic girls’ school which was sent a £2,000 bill for an inspection the educational authorities admitted had been commissioned in error has now been told the fee will be waived.

Beis Malka, an independent school in Salford which teaches pupils aged from three to 16, was inspected at the end of October last year — just five months after receiving a full inspection in May.

According to Ofsted’s report of the second inspection, the purpose of the second visit was to “monitor the progress the school has made in meeting the independent school standards and other requirements that it was judged to not comply with at its previous inspection”.

But the report went on to note that during the inspection, “Ofsted were informed by the Department of Education (DfE) that the inspection was commissioned in error”.

Since Ofsted had commenced the inspection, it explained, its “statutory inspection functions were engaged”.

The school was recently sent an invoice for £2,000 to cover the cost of the inspection fee.

But following enquiries by the JC, Ofsted has now confirmed that "given the extraordinary circumstances, we are waiving the fee. The school has been contacted to make them aware of this."

In May, the school’s quality of education was ranked as good and it was complimented on its curriculum. But it was rated overall as a school that “requires improvement” mainly because it did not teach about the LGBT community.

The DfE would normally request a follow-up visit only if it were considering enforcement action against the school or felt it necessary to check improvements.

The second inspection was carried out on October 31 — the same date as a letter from the DfE to Beis Malka which assured the school that “the department has not instructed Ofsted to arrange an interim progress monitoring inspection at this time”.

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