A Reading school which failed to carry out effective safeguarding practices has been rated as Inadequate following an Ofsted inspection in November 2018.

Phoenix College, in Christchurch Road, was rated as Good in its 2014 inspection but this time achieved the lowest possible classification by inspectors, who noted several “significant weaknesses” across all areas observed.

During the inspection of the school, which teaches children with additional needs, areas analysed included: the effectiveness of leadership and management; the quality of teaching; outcomes for pupils and personal development, behaviour and welfare.

All were found to be inadequate, with inspectors observing ineffective safeguarding; failure of school governors to support and challenge leaders; ineffective assessment of pupils’ needs; poor progress from pupils and “weak subject knowledge” from teachers.

The report, published in late December 2018, also states that leaders do not undertake required checks.

Additionally, it says that pupils’ welfare and safety had been jeopardised because safety arrangements “are not secure of effective.”

The report highlights concerns with pupils’ behaviour, with one section stating: “Pupils’ disengagement from learning, swearing or low-level disruption in class are often ignored.”

Some positive elements picked up on by inspectors are also noted, such as the breakfast club that the school provides, which gives pupils “a relaxed and positive start to the day.”

On behalf of the college, a council spokesman said: "As the Ofsted report highlighted, headteacher Eleanor Hatchett is taking firm action to challenge ineffective teaching and the Interim Executive Board (IEB) has taken action to review and improve safeguarding arrangements.

"The headteacher has received support from the council and external consultations to provide staff with additional training and guidance. As a result, senior leaders have introduced a range of new management systems and approaches.

"New systems also recently been introduced to improve the quality of information kept about pupils' progress, behaviour and attendance.

"We know that there is much to do to bring about the improvements needed at the school; the inspection recognised that we have a good understanding of the issues and appropriately detailed plans and actions to help bring about the changes needed. The IEB, local authority and headteacher will continue to work closely to bring about the improvement needed.

"In the longer term we are actively seeking to relocate Phoenix College to a setting which would offer an improved learning environment."

To read the full report, visit https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50045559.