A SCHOOL has been given a damning Ofsted report nearly a year after teachers and staff went on strike in protest of a proposed restructure.

Tendring Technology College, which has 1829 students across campuses in both Thorpe-le-Soken and Frinton, has been rated Inadequate by a team of five inspectors.

The examiners spent three days at the complex from November 9 last year looking at behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

These were all considered to be Inadequate, while the quality of education on offer was also given a concerning rating of Requires Improvement.

The school’s sixth form, however, presented itself as being the most promising area within the facility, with its provision being graded as Good.

Ofsted’s findings, published on Friday but shared with parents the night before, make for stark reading just nine months after teachers downed tools for three days.


The report suggests pupils, who feel any concerns they raise will not be dealt with, do not feel safe and students and their parents feel bullying is not tackled properly.

Inspectors also found behaviour to not be managed consistently, resulting in pupils misbehaving and showing a lack of respect to staff and fellow students.

Lessons were also regularly disrupted and some pupils were prevented from learning due to their counterparts’ casual attitudes and poor application during studies.

According to the inspectorate a “significant proportion” of staff feel senior leaders do not support them well enough with managing serious misbehaviour.

Subsequently they are concerned about pupils’ behaviour in and out of lessons and about the safety of pupils and staff.

Homophobic language is said to be used at an alarming rate in the school and “there is a high proportion of pupils and parents who do not think it is okay to be different.”

Girl students even told inspectors not enough is done to prevent boys from using abusive language towards them or acting in an over-sexualised manner.

In the report of the school, run by the Academies Enterprise Trust, it said: “Pupils feel if you are ‘different’ you will be subject to bullying and offensive language.

Gazette: New head Graeme Napier New head Graeme Napier

“Action taken on the lower site to teach pupils about the importance of tolerance and respect is leading to improvement but this does not extend to the upper site.

“Governors know what the school does well and what it needs to improve. However, they have conflicting and communication is not as good as it could be.”

On a more positive note, however, Ofsted’s report praises the enrichment of activities on offer and the high level at which competitive sport is played.

It also speaks highly of The Hub, which provides a safe, nurturing place for pupils to go to if they need support.

Pupils with special educational needs or disabilities are also considered to be well cared for and all pupils receive good careers guidance.

Gazette: Fight - Tendring Technology College staff protest outside the school’s Thorpe-le-Soken campus

In a lengthy statement issued by the Academies Enterprise Trust, bosses responded to the report's findings.

A spokeswoman said: “We are very disappointed by Ofsted’s judgement on the school. Tendring Technology College has had a really difficult few years, and there were clearly improvements that needed to be made.

"That work had begun long before Ofsted visited us, but we recognise that there is more work that we need to do. 

“More positively, Ofsted’s report acknowledges that we have taken decisive action which is leading to improvements.

"We know there have been significant difficulties for some time, and since September, under new leadership with a new Chief Executive and senior team at AET we’ve been working hard to resolve these. We know we have not always got things right in the past and we are determined to do better.

“To address the extent of the challenges, we recognised that TTC needed a full time Executive Principal, and since the start of the spring term, Mr Napier who is a talented school leader, has been in post.

"Under his leadership the school is making positive strides forward, particularly in terms of changing the culture and improving safeguarding. 

“Here, we are seeing the impact of appointing additional staff to the senior team, with specific expertise in safeguarding. 

“We have also made improvements to how tutoring and pastoral support work in school, prioritising pupil wellbeing, and additional counselling support has also been very well received by pupils.

“We also want to do more to listen to the views of students, staff and the community and will be reaching out with regular surveys and opportunities to come together to discuss any issues or concerns. 

“We are also committed to the school working more closely with our parents, as well as the wider community, as we continue to make the improvements needed at TTC. This work has begun and we are keen to build on this over the coming months and years.”