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News

Headteacher, father sentenced for running school illegally

Ambassadors Home School in Streatham, south London (Photo: gov.uk)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A HEADTEACHER has been handed down a suspended jail term of eight weeks for the repeat offence of illegally running a school.

Nadia Ali, who was running the unregistered Ambassadors Home School at Streatham in south London in defiance of Ofsted, is also ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £500.

Her father Arshad Ali, the “proprietor” of the school has been fined £300. He has to pay another £200 as costs.

Nadia’s imprisonment has been suspended for a year.

In 2018, Ofsted inspectors found the school was not registered. Following a warning, the school filed an application seeking to register it as an independent school, with Arshad as its proprietor.

However, during a pre-registration inspection, Ofsted found that the school did not meet the required standards like adequate checks on its teachers.

But the school, where the enrolment of a pupil cost £4,500, continued to operate illegally. This prompted Ofsted to sue the daughter-father duo, leading to their conviction in 2019. They, however, continued to run the school, forcing the education authorities to take them to court again.

During the sentencing on Monday (11), the school was also fined £1,000.

Following her conviction, the government barred Nadia from taking part in the management of any school.

“The Secretary of State for Education finds Nadia Ali unsuitable to take part in the management of an independent school (including an academy or free school)…”, the government said in a press release, adding, the decision also has the effect of “disqualifying the person from being a governor at a local-authority-maintained school”.

Ofsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman, who hailed the court verdict, said Nadia and Arshad had shown “breathtaking arrogance” by continuing to run the school after the first conviction.

“Unregistered schools deny children a proper education and put their safety and wellbeing at risk… I hope today’s sentence sends a clear message to all those running unregistered schools that Ofsted will not tire in our efforts to bring them to justice”, Spielman said.

Eastern Eye

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