Ofsted criticises councils for failing to shut down illegal schools

In a letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Ofsted has identified 15 illegal schools operating without the knowledge or consent of its local council. 

The letter warns that such schools have operated in squalid and often unsafe conditions, teaching more than 800 pupils. 

The letter informs that prohibited schools have been taking advantage of the freedom issued to genuine home educators in order to provide cover for their activities, and subsequently urges the government to use the ‘full force of the law’ to take action against them. 

The letter said: “Local authorities are not acting swiftly enough to identify unregistered provision and ensure that all children and young people are kept safe.”

The document continues to contend that a number of local authorities are using bureaucracy, legislation of a lack of resources as an ‘excuse’ not to tackle the problem.