A FEE-PAYING school in Herefordshire was inspected by Ofsted after a serious complaint was made about bullying, boarding house security and the manner in which complaints are dealt with.

The Department for Education said that its inspection in October 2019 found despite efforts of leaders at Lucton School to get pupils to share concerns, they did not.

“Despite leaders’ efforts to encourage pupils and boarders to share their concerns, including those related to bullying, several children told inspectors that they do not like to tell for fear of being called a ‘snitch’,” the report said.

“Leaders recognise that there is further work to do to ensure that all children are prepared to speak up and tell someone when there is a problem.”

Despite concerns, the school met all the requirements of the independent school standards for the welfare, health and safety of pupils, with one exception.

Inspectors found the health needs of boarders were not being consistently met as there had been delays in medical information and consent from parents.

“Leaders have followed this up with those parents, and boarding staff have made alternative health care arrangements to minimise risk to those children affected,” they said.

“Leaders are currently exploring ways of ensuring that these systems are more effective before the beginning of the next term.”

When inspectors looked at the quality of leadership in and management, they said the owner and leaders have not ensured the independent school standards were being met consistently and continually, but pupils’ wellbeing has not been compromised.

The boarding house was safe and a faulty door was fixed within 24 hours of the inspection.

A school spokesperson said: “As is obvious from all recent reports, Lucton takes safeguarding very seriously and it is perfectly clear from the report that pupils are happy and safe, whilst the two items of criticism are purely form over substance.

“Even though the pupils are obviously safe, none of that makes a good school immune from malicious complaints, like the one that instigated this inspection.”