Private school in Eastwood shuts down amid financial crisis

Durban House on Mansfield Road in Eastwood, which housed the Jubilee House Christian School.
Durban House on Mansfield Road in Eastwood, which housed the Jubilee House Christian School.

An independent school in Eastwood that specialised in helping youngsters with special needs has closed its doors.

The owner, Rob Davidson, said he had decided to shut the Jubilee House Christian School after hitting financial problems.

He blamed a shortage of pupils who had been excluded by academies in mainstream education being referred to Jubilee House.

It reduced the school to only 50 pupils, forcing Mr Davidson to lay off a quarter of his staff and tackle a personal debt of £40,000.

The closure comes only two months after the school moved from its previous site at Dovecote Road in Newthorpe to the former D H Lawrence heritage centre at Durban House in Eastwood.

Mr Davidson said: “We have been operating for more than 20 years as a private school, but specialising in children with special needs.

“However, fewer children were being excluded, and that is why we were not getting the numbers.

“One school used to give us 40 children a year but, despite promises, we ended up this year with only two. That is just not economically viable.

“The school is my responsibility, and I took the decision to close. It was at my cost.”

On hearing of the closure, Jubilee House was de-registered by Ofsted, who had given the school an ‘inadequate’ rating after an inspection in 2015.

Inspectors criticised its incoherent approach and said the quality of leadership and teaching was not good enough.

It was expected that the move to Eastwood would bring about an improvement. But parents said they noticed the school “going downhill”, and Mr Davidson said he had to pull the plug earlier this month after weeks of sleepless nights and of struggling to pay loyal staff.

For the pupils who remained, new places at other schools are expected to be found by Nottinghamshire County Council.

A council spokesman said: “We have been in contact with parents to discuss alternative provision.

“These children deserve an excellent standard of education. It is completely right that Ofsted should not allow a school that is failing to perform adequately to continue to stay open.”