A SOUTH Ockendon school has been told it must improve.

The Ockendon Academy, on Erriff Drive, was inspected in October, with results released this week.

The school was branded inadequate in three of the five inspection categories, including effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and outcomes for pupils.

But it was rated good in terms of outcomes for 16 to 19-year-olds and personal development, welfare and behaviour.

Serious concerns were raised about the quality of teaching at the school in a range of subjects.

The school has been under new leadership this term, which the report noted had had a positive effect.

The inspectors report said: “Until recently, leaders failed to grasp the reality of the school’s weaknesses.

“Too little of the teaching enables pupils to make enough progress.

“Effective teaching is focused on Years 10 to 11, and in creative subjects and physical education but not in a sufficiently wide range of other subjects.

“English, mathematics and science are not taught well in Years 7 to 9. This leads to pupils being poorly prepared for GCSEs in these subjects.

“Disadvantaged pupils have been poorly served by ineffective spending of the pupil premium. The pupils’ outcomes are low.

“There has been some success in using the funding to retain pupils in school, but the money has not been used effectively to raise attainment.

“Outcomes are too low by the end of Year 11. For the last two years, pupils’ progress between the end of key stage 2 and the end of key stage 4 has been in the bottom fifth of pupils nationally.”

Positively, the report praised the new leadership team, stating that pastoral leaders are unrelenting in their commitment to pupils’ well-being. Pupils’ personal development was praised as a strength, with pupils described as “polite, mature and great ambassadors.” Behaviour was also considered to be good, and the sixth form’s achievements were praised.