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King Edward VII Academy in King’s Lynn has been rated as “inadequate” in a damning Ofsted report published this week.

Inspectors visited KES in September and found absence rates were high, the quality of education pupils received was “poor” and teaching was “not good enough”.

The report, published on Tuesday, criticised in particular the way bad behaviour was managed by staff and warned children with special needs or disabilities were not taught or supported effectively.

The quality of education, behaviour and attitudes of pupils and leadership and management were all rated “inadequate”.

“Too many pupils routinely miss out on learning because they are removed from lessons for even minor breaches of the school’s behaviour policy,” the report said.

“While this means behaviour in lessons is generally calm and purposeful, the problems caused by challenging behaviour are not sorted out. 

“Pupils’ behaviour has not been managed well enough for some time. The trust has allowed weak behaviour management to go on for too long.”

The report said new leaders had started to address weaknesses in behaviour management by providing more training for teachers and support staff.

“They have also appointed new staff to lead improvement to pupils’ behaviour. This is all very new and has had little impact,” the report went on.

There was also criticism of the way subjects were planned and teachers’ use of assessments to check how pupils were progressing.

“In depth inspection of science, mathematics, history and French showed that, until recently, leaders and teachers have not planned effectively what pupils need to learn and when this should be taught,” the report said.

“There are new plans in place to improve this, but they are not consistent across all subjects.

“Teachers often do not check what pupils have learned and what they have not.”

KES, which has 1,095 pupils on roll, is part of Eastern Multi-Academy Trust and headteacher Sarah Hartshorn took up her post in April.

Ofsted found early improvements made by leaders to the teaching of English were having a positive impact on children’s learning and progress in the subject. 

Pupils’ personal development was found to require improvement, a better rating than “inadequate”.

The report said: “Pupils often receive effective careers guidance and support. Leaders promote school sport well, and physical education is a strength of the curriculum. 

“Leaders have trained pupils as  anti-bullying ambassadors to help others.”

There was also praise for the school’s sixth form, which was rated as “good”.

“Sixth form students receive good guidance and mentoring,” the report said. “They are well supported in 

planning what to do in the future.”

In a statement, Ms Hartshorn said: “Ofsted visited us very early in the new school year, using a new and much tougher inspection framework and before many of the improvements we have brought in to support pupils had a chance to take effect. As a result, in many areas the report is simply out of date. 

“When I joined the school earlier this year I put in place a robust improvement plan, with the support of our new governing body and the academy trust.

“The overall judgement is disappointing but it does not reflect the full impact of changes like our new behaviour system, new support staff and new vice principal for behaviour, or our new director of science. We have been working hard to improve documentation around our curriculum plans to meet Ofsted’s new requirements. Our internal test and assessment results – which Ofsted now refuse to consider under its new framework – show considerable improvements across many subjects as a result of the hard work of staff and students.”

Safer Summer Staycation
Safer Summer Staycation