NAME-calling and bullying are said to be “features of everyday life” at a school which has been slammed by Government inspectors.

Notley High School and Braintree Sixth Form, in Notley Road, has been given the worst possible rating of ‘inadequate’ following an inspection by Ofsted.

The school, which was previously rated ‘good’, was visited by inspectors in February and has been given the lowest ranking for behaviours and attitudes, and the leadership and management categories.

A report published by Ofsted last week states the poor behaviour of a minority of pupils has a “detrimental impact” on classes at key stages three and four.

Inspectors say it means students are not learning as much as they should, though they also state the curriculum is not taught well enough.

Their report says: “The systems for improving their behaviour are not working.

“The same pupils are regularly removed from lessons. They disregard the school’s behaviour policy. Being excluded from school does not stop the same pupils continuing to behave poorly.

“Behaviour out of lessons is also concerning.

“Pushing and shoving in corridors make pupils feel unsafe. Bullying and teasing mean that pupils cannot be free to be themselves. This is not a healthy environment in which to grow up and learn. Some pupils seek sanctuary in the library, as they do not feel safe in the school.”

Ofsted says it had hundreds of responses to its parent survey and spoke to a range of students at both the school and sixth form during the inspection.

The latest report offers some praise for school leaders, governors and trustees who are said to be making “positive steps” to improve the quality of education.

But inspectors say the changes have not been in place long enough to make an impact.

They also said the school required improvement in other key areas, such as sixth form provision, personal development and quality of education.

The North Essex Multi Academy Trust says it has introduced a number of changes to address concerns about its school.

Previous executive headteacher David Conway resigned shortly after the inspection and has been replaced by Rob James, who is also in charge of the Ramsey Academy in Halstead.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We recognise there are parts of the report that are not as we would wish. Although there are some aspects that were the subject of an appeal by the trust, we do accept the report’s findings and have developed, and are in the process of implementing, a robust action plan to tackle the issues raised.

“We are confident that our actions are already having a positive impact, despite the difficulties of the lockdown situation and will ensure a rapid recovery.

“Before the ‘school closure’ period we had already started to address some of the issues raised in the report, particularly linked to the areas of student welfare, safeguarding and behaviour.

"Assemblies had been delivered to all year groups to reinforce the expectations of the school motto of ‘working together, achieving together’. We also outlined the importance of enjoying school, developing trust, respect and tolerance towards others.

"The previous announcement to parents outlining the re-introduction of a year-based tutor system aims to develop a greater sense of identity for the students and provide a more bespoke support network.

"During the coming weeks more details of a range of planned changes will be communicated to students and parents.

"Our priority is to ensure that the students at Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form receive the best education possible in a safe and secure environment.

"We are confident our planned actions will achieve significant improvements in a short period of time.”