Sussex

Failing Bexhill St Mary's School pupils offered London places

St Mary's School and Sixth Form College, in Bexhill, East Sussex Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption In the past two years the school's senior management team has changed and nearly 140 staff have left

Parents of children with speech, language and communication difficulties at an East Sussex school put into special measures have been offered alternative places in London schools.

Ofsted inspectors have rated St Mary's School and Sixth Form College, in Bexhill, East Sussex, as inadequate,

Ten London authorities have written to parents offering "alternative good quality provision".

The school said it had not had any notification of the letters.

The parents have until the end of the week to decide if they want to move their children from St Mary's.

The letter said: "The south London boroughs of Bromley, Bexley, Croydon, Merton, Wandsworth, Sutton, Lewisham, Greenwich, Kingston and Richmond are working together to ensure that the children in our boroughs are receiving a good quality of education."

The letter said the authorities were "disappointed with the decline in quality of the school and have grave reservations about their ability to turn the school around".

The parents were told: "We would be happy to work with you to find good quality provision."

'No pupils removed'

Dr Sharon Menghini, the principal of St Mary's, told the BBC the school had "not received any notification of this announcement by any London authority to date".

She said: "It is normal practice for local authorities to consider a change of school if that is the parents' request.

"No children have been removed from St Mary's since the Ofsted inspection three months ago. The school is already making progress and is driving forward the required improvements."

The mixed school currently has 104 pupils aged between seven and 19. Eighty-six of them are residential.

The school's previous inspection in May 2012 was rated as good.

In the past two years, its senior management team has changed and nearly 140 staff have left.

Dr Menghini said: "The majority of people here now just want to get on with it."

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