Controversial Ofsted report highlights students who used 'gay' as insult

The damning verdict of Ofsted inspectors
The damning verdict of Ofsted inspectors

The full extent of the criticism of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy has been revealed.

The full extent of the controversial criticism of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy has been revealed.

An Ofsted inspection report - which, unusually, highlights the fact that some students use the word "gay" as an insult - says that all aspects of the academy require improvement: leadership and management; behaviour and safety of pupils; quality of teaching; achievement of pupils; and sixth-form provision.

Brighton and Hove Independent revealed last week that the "requires improvement" verdict - the third-lowest of four possible verdicts - had prompted a formal complaint to Ofsted by the academy, which said the inspection report "failed the common-sense test".

Since then, the full report has been published on the academy’s website – but not yet on the Ofsted website.

The report states that students’ achievement has improved since the last inspection two years ago, but it adds "progress in some classes, year groups and subjects, including mathematics, is not good enough".

In 2012, the quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and the leadership and management were all described as "good".

Other key findings of the latest report - based on an inspection last month - include:

Some teachers set the same level of work for all students regardless of their ability. More-able students are not challenged well enough.

The gap in achievement between different groups of students is too variable. Disadvantaged students are not catching up with their peers at consistent rates.

Students’ achievement in the sixth form is not consistently good.

Senior leaders and governors hold an over-generous view of students’ behaviour. They have not ensured that teachers have high enough expectations for good behaviour.

Teachers are not typically asking probing questions that help students think deeply and learn more effectively. Marking is not always helping students improve their work.

Some students do not take note of the academy’s clear message that using the word "gay" as an insult is not acceptable.

The report does, however, highlight some strengths, including:

The academy is increasingly effective in promoting students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and preparing them for life in modern Britain.

Leadership of the sixth form is good. Provision in the sixth form is improving and students are achieving more than was previously the case.

Students typically make good progress in English.

Senior leaders know which teachers need support to improve and are making sure the training and coaching provided for these teachers are effective.

Students’ attendance is in line with that seen nationally.

In a statement last week, an academy spokesperson said: “The governing body of the academy have submitted a robust rebuttal against the process and conduct experienced during the inspection in the form of an official complaint and expects to hear back from Ofsted in the new year.”