Mass exodus of pupils at private school

Lincolnshire Montessori school in Caistor EMN-150720-083939001
Lincolnshire Montessori school in Caistor EMN-150720-083939001

More than 20 concerned parents removed their children from a school in a mass exodus, it has emerged.

As Caistor’s Lincolnshire Montessori school closed its doors for the final time last month, it has emerged that between January and April last year up to 25 parents pulled their children out of the school.

Parents have told the Rasen Mail the majority of children were taken out of the private £5,788-a-year school and nursery because they believed they were behind in basic things such as reading.

Montessori is an approach to education focuses on children’s ability to absorb information when given freedom and independence to learn at their own pace. It takes its name from Dr Maria Montessori.

Results of an Ofsted ‘parents’ view’ questionnaire for the 2013/14 school year reveal 22 per cent of 55 parents who completed the survey ‘strongly disagrees’ that their child ‘makes good progress’ at the Montessori school in Caistor.

Of these 55 parents, 25 per cent ‘strongly disagree’ that their child is ‘taught well’ at the school. 31 per cent ‘strongly disagree’ that ‘the school is well led and managed’. 31 per cent ‘strongly disagree’ that ‘the school responds well to any concerns they raise’.

And 33 per cent of these parents say they ‘would not recommend’ the school to another parent.

Despite this an Ofsted inspection last May ranked the Caistor school ‘good’ saying: “Achievement is good. Pupils in the school and children in the Early Years Foundation Stage make good progress.

“Often they demonstrate rapid learning in English and mathematics from their starting points.

“Most teaching is good and some is outstanding. All staff are skilled Montessori practitioners. They are effective in supporting the development of pupils’ skills so they can learn and find things out for themselves through Montessori methods.”

An Ofsted spokesman said: “The responsibility for overseeing independent schools falls to the Department for Education as the registering authority.

“While we do not comment on specific complaints, any that we do receive about independent schools will be referred to the DfE to take further action.

“Ofsted carried out a routine independent schools inspection of the school in May 2014.

“Anyone wishing to make a complaint about an Ofsted inspection may do so – and it will be dealt with swiftly and in line with our published policies and procedures.”

The Department for Education declined to comment.

The school Caistor school was registered to admit up to 80 pupils aged three 
to 11.

At the time of going to press Lincolnshire Montessori school had not responded to several requests for a commenty.