Independent school near Hastings stripped of international student allocation

Buckswood School, Guestling
Buckswood School, Guestling

An independent school near Hastings has been stripped of its ability to sponsor international students, the Home Office has announced.

Buckswood School, in Rye Road, Guestling, was given an ‘inadequate’ rating after a three-day inspection by the education watchdog, Ofsted, from March 28 to March 30, 2017.

In January this year, the school was reinspected and found to have ‘not met all of the independent school standards that were checked’, according to an Ofsted report from the inspection.

The Home Office has now said that it has stripped the school of its allocation of Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) – a reference number issued to international students who have accepted an offer and paid the required deposit to secure a school place.

Buckswood School appealed to have its allocation reinstated but this was refused by a High Court judge on August 22.

The High Court judge found the Home Office decision and policy to be ‘wholly lawful’, according to a Home Office spokesman.

In refusing permission, the High Court also emphasised the importance of ensuring international students come to the UK to study in circumstances where they will receive a ‘high quality education’.

Buckswood School subsequently applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal which was then refused on August 30, the Home Office confirmed.

Jonathon Blake, marketing, communications and admissions executive at Buckswood School said: “Buckswood School has no comment to make on this matter.

“The school continues to focus on providing a safe, stimulating and vibrant education to its pupils, from home and abroad, with pupils achieving excellent results.

“It also remains in close dialogue with the Home Office over its CAS allocation as it looks to maintain its worldwide offering.”

According to the Ofsted report from Buckswood School’s March 2017 inspection, many of the independent school standards and national minimum standards for boarding were not met and there was no system to hold leaders to account.

By January, Ofsted acknowledged the school’s new leadership team had set about addressing previous concerns with ‘greater rigour and determination’. However, Ofsted said there was still much work to do to ensure that all standards were met consistently and that safeguarding was effective.

Ofsted’s January report concluded the school must ensure that arrangements were made to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils at the school.

Buckswood School provides education for day and boarding pupils between the age of ten and 19 from all over the world.

See more:

Independent school is rated ‘inadequate’

Ofsted report is unfair on school