A BASINGSTOKE secondary school has been told to improve following a visit from Ofsted.

The education watchdog judged Everest Community Academy as “requiring improvement” after a monitoring visit on February 1.

A report on the findings, published on February 25, said the school, in Oxford Way, Popley, needs to take action to improve the attendance of disadvantaged pupils, disabled pupils and those with special educational needs, and analyse more rigorously the impact of funding used to support the progress of disadvantaged pupils.

The visit from Ofsted was the first since the academy was judged as “requiring improvement” in June last year.

The report said that since last year, Academies Enterprise Trust, which Everest is part of, had appointed an executive head teacher to work alongside principal Nick Price for two days a week.

In a letter to Mr Price, Her Majesty’s inspector Seamus Murphy said: “You have begun to address the areas for improvement identified in the previous inspection.

"There is a palpable sense of urgency in the attitude of staff and pupils to bring about the necessary improvements. You are very visible around the academy and you have excellent working relationships with pupils, who value your presence in the classrooms and corridors.

“Supported by the executive head teacher, you have developed the roles of the senior leaders well. As a result, leaders throughout the academy are now better able to improve teaching and achievement in their subject areas.”

Mr Murphy added that the achievement of disadvantaged pupils is improving, although the gap between these pupils’ achievement and that of other pupils nationally is still wide.

He described Everest as “a calm and orderly place where pupils listen well in their lessons”, adding: “Pupils feel safe and well-cared for and appreciate the range of support that is available from the pastoral team and other staff. Pupils report that poor behaviour is no longer tolerated and that the new systems to manage disruption work well.”

The report said there had been a reduction in the number of incidents of bullying, an improvement in punctuality and an increase in the number of pupils bringing the right equipment to school.

It added: “You and your senior leaders have also taken firm steps to improve attendance. Although attendance is improving, there remains a wide gap between the attendance of disadvantaged pupils and other pupils.”

Mr Price told The Gazette that he was “disappointed” with the overall grade, but added: “On the other hand, I’m also pleased that they recognised how much we have improved over the year and also how well behaved the children are.

“I am very proud of what we’ve done so far and of the staff and especially the students. I am so determined to make this into a great school for this community and this takes us one step closer.”