Two people and a charitable trust have pleaded guilty to running an illegal school, following an investigation by Ofsted
In a hearing at Sheffield Magistrate’s Court, Shahjan Yasmin Hussain, chair of trustees; Dr Shathea Zamzam, manager; and Yorkshire Tuition Centre have admitted to running an unregistered school. The case was heard on 5 January 2022 and is the latest successful prosecution of those running unregistered schools.
Deputy senior district judge, Tanweer Ikram, made a clear judgement that the defendants in charge “wanted to carry on under the radar without the requirement of regulation.”
The illegal school, Aysha Tuition Centre (ATC) was located at premises previously used by a registered private school, Oak Tree High (OTH), which had closed because it was failing to provide pupils with a good education. Ofsted inspectors found ATC was operating on the same site and employing many of the same staff as OTH to teach former pupils of the failed private school.
ATC was investigated by Ofsted’s unregistered schools taskforce during 2021. Inspectors found evidence that the setting, which claimed to be a tuition centre, was in reality providing up to 28 children with full-time education.
Ofsted chief inspector, Amanda Spielman said: “This case shows the length some people will go to side-step the law and mislead parents into believing they can provide their children with a good education.
“Many of the children at this illegal school were allegedly being home educated. But in fact they were receiving all of their education at the Centre.
“Cases like this are why I have long called for a register for children who are being home educated – so we can know where they are and that they’re getting a good education. We also urgently need legislation to be strengthened so that we can take strong action against illegal schools and close them down.”
The sentence handed down by Judge Ikram included:
- £500 fine for Yorkshire Tuition Centre, a charitable trust which oversaw the illegal school, ATC
- Hussain and Zamzami to undertake 80 hours of unpaid work and subject to a community order for 18 months
- £500 contribution to be paid between the 3 defendants toward cost of the prosecution