PUPILS have said they do not feel safe at a Hereford school while others claim some of their teachers “do not care”.

The comments were made in a damning Ofsted report which rates Hereford Academy as inadequate, the lowest grade possible.

But executive headteacher Phil Poulton has pledged that staff are committed to turning things around and giving the school a ‘positive future.’

The latest report shows the school has gone backwards after being rated ‘requires improvement’ in 2017.

The new report points out the sixth form, which currently has 25 pupils in Year 13, will close in the summer, and adds that current provision is not adequate for those students still studying A levels.

The report said: “Many teachers have low expectations of, and aspirations for, their pupils. Pupils say they feel some teachers ‘do not care’.”

The school, which has 678 pupils, has been a sponsor-led academy of the Bishop Anthony Educational Trust for almost five years. Inspectors said the trust has failed to provide adequate support and resources for improvements, and standards at the school have declined considerably.

The inspectors said the quality of teaching is weak and that pupils’ behaviour is poor adding: “Pupils, especially those in key stage three, do not feel safe at school because of the poor behaviour of others.”

The inspectors said the current executive headteacher and head of school are passionate about their school but they have acted too slowly to address issues.

A third of parents and carers who completed an Ofsted parent questionnaire said bullying was a concern.

Mr Poulton said: “I am not going to shy away from the fact that this report is disappointing and that it hasn’t made pleasant reading. We accept that significant improvements are required and I can reassure pupils and their families that every member of staff is committed to making this school the best it can be.

“I am confident that with the new leadership team having had time to bed in, the school is beginning to move in the right direction and it is pleasing to see that the Ofsted report acknowledges the success of the new structure.”

He said he is “heartened” that the inspectors identified and praised their passion and the accuracy of the evaluations they have been making, as well as recognising that parents and carers valued the pastoral support.

Mr Poulton said: “While I feel that the views of a small minority of pupils and parents have swayed some of the judgements made in certain areas, we will take on board the points laid out and ensure we address the issues raised.”

There is an approved action plan in place. With enhanced support from the trust and greater engagement with parents and carers, he was confident things will move in the right direction and the school’s future will be “a positive one.”