A pre-preparatory school in Hampton with only five pupils has been rated as requiring improvement by Ofsted.

Athelstan House School in Percy Road has had to lay off a number of staff, according to the report, and is due to close permanently on July 6 this year, after current Year 2 pupils (the last remaining class) leave.

Ofsted inspectors visited between November 14 and 16, with the report published last month. According to the report, the £11,760 per annum independent school has suffered from a sharp decline of pupil numbers due to competition from new pre-preparatory provision locally.

Inspectors graded the school 'requires improvement' for the effectiveness of its leadership and management. This led to an overall rating of 'requires improvement'.

The main criticism was due to administration practises, such as ‘not keeping up to date with the latest statutory guidance for education regarding checks and procedures for monitoring and review’.

Despite the negative rating in this area, the school was rated ‘good’ in all others: the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and outcomes for pupils.

In particular, it received praise for a ‘caring and supportive ethos’ and the behaviour of pupils, which was described as ‘outstanding’.

It added that the curriculum promoted ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ and teachers ‘plan and provide a range of interesting activities to motivate pupils’.

The school was approached for comment, but due to operating with a skeleton-staff, no-one was available.