Pupils racially abused at Slough's inadequate Grove Academy

A classroomImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The school spokesperson (not pictured here) said it was "committed" to improvements

Some children at a school "feel unsafe" and have been racially abused or subjected to slurs about their gender or sexual orientation, inspectors said.

Education watchdog Ofsted said the Grove Academy in Slough was inadequate following a visit.

It was the first time the all-through academy free school had been inspected since it opened in 2017.

A spokesperson for the school said it was "committed" to improvements, including expanding its pastoral team.

Inspectors said some pupils' behaviour can be "chaotic and dangerous", while others find it "intimidating and unsettling", according to the Local Democracy Reporting (LDRS).

Many pupils want to learn but are affected by "small but significant groups" of misbehaving classmates.

Ofsted found neither staff nor pupils know what is expected of them to combat those problems.

Inspectors said some students used "derogatory comments linked to pupils' protected characteristics, such as their race, gender or sexual orientation".

'Collaborate with parents'

About 900 pupils attend the Ladbrooke Road school, which is run by the SASH Education Trust.

They were taught in temporary accommodation until they moved into a new school building in spring 2021.

Ofsted said there have been "significant changes" in the school's senior leadership team and staff generally since it opened.

It has a designation for a sixth form but its opening has been deferred.

A Grove Academy spokesperson said: "We are committed to securing positive behaviour through creating extra capacity, expanding the pastoral team and working with partner schools.

"We are keen to collaborate with parents making sure our expectations are clear and are reviewing behaviour systems to ensure we secure a safe, calm learning environment."

Ofsted judged the quality of education and personal development to require improvement after the visit in February. It said its early years provision is good.

But the behaviour and attitudes of pupils and school's leadership and management were judged to be inadequate.

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