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King's Lynn school rated 'Inadequate' by inspectors as homophobia and 'poor teaching' claims made

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A Lynn secondary school has been declared inadequate by inspectors amid claims of homophobic language by pupils, poor attendance and a lack of quality teaching.

The verdict on the King Edward VII Academy was delivered in an Ofsted report published this week.

But the school’s principal has claimed the report, which followed a two-day inspection in September, is already “out of date” in many areas.

King Edward VII Academy King's Lynn
King Edward VII Academy King's Lynn

The report said weak management of pupil behaviour had gone on for too long.

It added: “Too many pupils routinely miss out on learning because they are removed from lessons for even minor breaches of the school’s behaviour policy.

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

King Edward VII Academy has been declared inadequate
King Edward VII Academy has been declared inadequate

Inspectors also reported a lack of understanding of being different after students told them phrases such as “that’s gay” were used without being meant to be homophobic.

The report said: “They do not appreciate that this might be hurtful to some pupils.”

But KES principal Sarah Hartshorn said: “The academy is clear that homophobia is unacceptable. We have checked behaviour reports for the last year and can find no reports of any homophobic bullying.

“We asked Ofsted to provide evidence for their claim in the report so we could investigate further but they declined to do so.”

Inspectors also said pupils with special education needs and disabilities are not taught or supported effectively.

But the strength of physical education, “early improvements to the teaching of English”, the training of anti-bullying ambassadors and the quality of sixth form provision were highlighted.

Mrs Hartshorn said the judgement was “disappointing”, but did not reflect many of the measures that have been introduced.

She added that the school had been assessed under a new, tougher inspection regime before many of the measures designed to improve matters had come into force.

She said: “As a result, in many areas, the report is simply out of date.

“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, show considerable improvements across many subjects.”

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