Autism provision and Ofsted inspection at Abbey Rose school

The last accounts filed at Companies House by Orbis Education and Care Limited (the owners and operators of Abbey Rose home and day school) showed a healthy balance sheet, with nearly £12 million turnover, operating profit of £1.6 million and net assets of £7 million.  The day school, a specialist residential home for 30 autistic children, charges annual fees of £70-95,000. The only declared risk in the groups last accounts was ‘austerity’. However a recent Ofsted inspection found children were smeared in faeces, pupils fed a diet of junk food, only one toilet roll between six bathrooms, no hand wash or towels in staff bathrooms, high staff turnover and absence of appropriately trained staff.

The home and adjoining day school set in a grand building in a 17 acre site was opened in 2019 by the Lord Mayor amidst a wave of publicity with a multi-million pound makeover following extensive refurbishment to provide a of a state-of-the-art facility.  At the time Mike Currier, CEO at Orbis Education and Care, said: “Our vision for Orbis Abbey Rose as a regional centre for excellence in autism support has finally been realised, and we are delighted to be sharing the results at long last with the local community. It has been important for us to establish relationships not just with Gloucestershire and the neighbouring authorities, but with residents in the surrounding community that we look forward to continue working with in order to bring this vision to fruition in its entirety.”

However Ofsted stepped in within seven months of registration and closed down the residential home amidst concern that children were at ‘significant risk’, where one child was fed 122 chicken nuggets and 14 litres of fizzy drinks each week.

The Abbey Rose School was rated as inadequate in all areas:

  • Leaders failed to meet basic needs
  • Leaders had not acted with integrity
  • It was not a safe, secure environment
  • Processes for safe recruitment of staff were poor
  • Recruitment checks were not completed
  • Important information was missing
  • They did not meet their statutory duties under the SEN code of conduct

With such a new facility and the provision of such specialist care much needed it is hoped that in the future it can be reopened and run successfully.


Written by Jagdeep Hayre at BLM

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