AN education watchdog has rated one of the country’s leading grammar schools as inadequate after inspectors found pupils were subject to sexist and racist comments.

Colchester Royal Grammar School, based in Lexden, was recently visited by Ofsted after former student Scarlett Mansfield, 26, sent inspectors hundreds of sexual abuse allegations from current and former pupils.

Gazette: Justice - Scarlett Mansfield, 26, used to attend the school Justice - Scarlett Mansfield, 26, used to attend the school

The damning Ofsted report, published on the school’s website today, stated parts of the school “have become a hostile environment for some pupils”.

It said: “A significant number of pupils feel uncomfortable or unsafe in school and report being the subject of insulting and damaging comments regarding their gender, appearance, race or sexual orientation.

“Pupils are too often reluctant to pass their concerns on to staff.

“Consequently, leaders are largely unaware of the difficulties some pupils face.”

The school has a reputation for being one of the top grammar schools in the country.

Just last month analysis of data from The Telegraph revealed the school has more students being offered Oxbridge places than any other grammar school in the UK.

However, the school’s Ofsted rating has now fallen from outstanding to inadequate due to its attitudes, leadership and personal development.

The report said: “While many pupils enjoy being at the school, many also feel people are treated badly because of their protected characteristics, such as their gender, race or sexual orientation.

“Discriminatory remarks are too common among some pupils.”

Many pupils, of both sexes, dislike and disapprove of the negative culture, it added.

It said many pupils, of both sexes disapprove of the negative culture, but lack confidence in the skills of adults to deal with their concerns well.


The report said: “The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective. “Some pupils do not feel safe in school because of a culture which allows them to be victimised for being themselves.

“Too many pupils would not share their concerns with an adult in school.

“When issues are reported to adults, they are not recorded properly.”

“The system for staff to report concerns is not rigorous.

“Incidents are only added to safeguarding records if a member of the safeguarding team determines that they should be.

“This makes it too easy to miss patterns which might indicate a pupil is at risk of harm.”

It also said governors’ systems for monitoring pupils’ behaviour and wellbeing have not worked well.

To improve, Ofsted said leaders need to make sure pupils feel confident passing on their concerns to adults in schooland they need to ensure all pupils learn how to interact well with people different from themselves.

The school was, however, rated good for its quality of education.

In response to Ofsted’s findings, Head teacher John Russell said the report was “a very difficult report to read”.

He said: "We have never shied away from the fact that we believe that there is always more that we can, and want, to do for our students.

“While we feel the strengths of the school are not fully reflected in the report, the Ofsted Framework is the measure against which all schools will be judged – and we listen to what the inspection team found, and continue to act upon that.

“Our focus has to be on driving forward improvements and building on our many strengths and successes.

“Key to this will be continuing to enhance our culture where our students show greater respect for themselves and for others, and eliminating the use of derogatory and discriminatory language.

“To support this we will further develop effective reporting systems, particularly around how students raise any concerns that they may have.

“While this is a very sad day for our school, it does not mean that we are not proud of all that our staff and students achieve.” Our students show impressive qualities, and we will continue to work with pace and purpose to support them and enhance the culture of the school.

“Going forward, there will be further discussions about what this outcome means for CRGS.

"We are working with the Department for Education and Regional Schools Commissioner to discuss the increased focus that the school will be under, and how we continue to move forward for our community.”