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Blackburn boarding school 'wholly inadequate' say Ofsted inspectors
A BOARDING school has been deemed ‘wholly inadequate’ after Ofsted inspectors were called to the Blackburn establishment after a boarder was taken ill.
Inspectors who attended the Markazul Uloom School, in Park Lee Road, observed bare mattresses on the floor full of stains, overcrowded bedrooms, damaged doors, a lack of fire escapes, little privacy for boarders, and disregard for health and safety at the site.
A report concluded that the June inspection highlighted “significant weaknesses in the boarding facilities at the school”.
The report said: “The building is in a very poor state of repair and boarders live in accommodation that is not ideal.
“The boarding accommodation is not fit for purpose and this is recognised by the headteacher.
“There does not appear to be any effective management oversight of the boarding house, and this is clearly evident from the lack of awareness of the health and safety hazards within the building.
“There are plans at an advanced stage to close the boarding facility and the boarders are being sent to other Muslim schools with the consent of parents.”
The fire officer has identified areas that require attention and gave the headteacher, Mrs Ayesha Desai, requirements to meet fire safety standards.
The independent Islamic school for boys and girls, aged 11 to 18, has boarding provision for 110 boys.
Male and female students are educated separately in different areas of the school.
The school was unavailable for comment.
Blackburn councillor Maureen Bateson, executive member for children’s services, said: “Unfortunately, we have no power over independent schools, so we rely on these Ofsted inspections to highlight areas of concern.
“The report has high-lighted a number of concerns regarding the provisions for the borders.”
Highercroft ward councillor Andy Kay said: “Any child, or young person, treated in this way is not acceptable.”
Fellow councillor Mike Johnson said: “The report raises a number of ser-ious concerns which the school needs to address immediately.
“The pupils’ welfare has to be given priority above all else.”