A TROUBLED academy has been told it must do more to cut sixth form truancy and stop school yard fights.

An Ofsted inspector visited Philip Morant to carry out a monitoring report after it was rated inadequate in a damning report which followed a snap visit in May.

John Mitcheson wrote to Interim Executive Principal Scott Holder with his findings.

Crucially, he found the school's safeguarding is now effective.

The school was previously labelled “highly disorganised” while pupils' personal development and welfare was also rated inadequate.

He wrote: "An experienced vice-principal now leads a team of designated leaders for safeguarding.

"All of them have been suitably trained to fulfil this role.

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"Communication within the team has improved, and designated leaders meet weekly to review safeguarding matters and to ensure that staff follow procedures routinely.

"At its last inspection in May 2018, the academy was judged to be inadequate. Serious weaknesses were found in its safeguarding arrangements, pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, the sixth form and leadership and management.

"Two vice-principals were leading the academy in the absence of the chief executive officer of the Thrive Trust and the executive headteacher, who had been absent since March 2018."

Since that inspection, both Nardeep Sharma and Catherine Hutley have left the academy and the management of the academy is being re-brokered.

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The Sigma Trust is expected to take charge in January.

Mr Mitcheson added: "My discussions with pupils confirmed that, generally, they feel safe.

"They told me that, this term, staff are more responsive to their concerns about bullying and are helping them to sort out their concerns about name-calling and physical bullying.

"Your logging of bullying issues needs improving. Currently, your logs record how many incidents occur but do not show what actions you and staff are taking to resolve and reduce bullying.

"I found behaviour outside to be calm and orderly. Pupils behaved themselves during lunchtime.

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"Most of them choose to play games or eat lunch together in friendship groups.

"The perimeter is secure and supervisory staff are on duty.

"However, older pupils feel that newly-arrived pupils in Year 7 do not always behave well enough at breaktimes and lunchtimes. Your own monitoring shows that there have been several altercations this term."

The inspector also praised the improving overall school attendance but added: "However, persistent absence rates in the sixth form remain too high."