Middlesbrough's failing Hillsview Academy sees racism rise

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Principal Doug Elliott
Image caption,
Principal Doug Elliott said he had received messages of support from parents who recognised efforts that were being made

Racist abuse among pupils at a Middlesbrough academy has doubled in just one year, inspectors have found.

Hillsview Academy was rated inadequate by Ofsted inspectors who found pupils were smoking in the school and bullying was not being tackled, .

However, they did say the leadership was "strengthening" and teaching of vocational subjects was good.

School principal Doug Elliott said he was disappointed and measures to tackle the problems were in place.

The school, which has 700 pupils and opened in 2014 when Eston Park Academy and Gilbrook Academy merged, must improve, Ofsted said.

Image caption,
Recommended improvements included reducing fixed-term exclusions and persistent absence.

Leadership, safeguarding of pupils, teaching and behaviour at the secondary school were given the lowest score when the team of inspectors visited in May.

They also found pupils were failing to thrive in an environment where recorded racist incidents had "almost doubled".

But Mr Elliott said: "The school has gone through years of turbulence because of volatile staffing.

"Despite some recent improvements we haven't been able to demonstrate that those have had a significant or sustained impact, so while the report did reflect on some of the improvements such as leadership and quality of assessment, it was not judged to be sufficient for us to be judged anything other than inadequate.

Persistent absence

"But we have received messages from parents who have recognised recent changes and improvements we've made."

Recommended improvements included reducing fixed-term exclusions and persistent absence.

The report said: "We are of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.

"The persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school particularly those who are disadvantaged."

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