Colchester Royal Grammar School: Ofsted warns of ‘sexist’ culture

As reported by BBC news, grammar school has been threatened with having its funding agreement withdrawn after Ofsted found pupils felt “unsafe”

Colchester Royal Grammar School (CRGS) in Essex received a termination warning notice from inspectors. They said school leaders had failed to address a “pervading culture in the school which does not promote equality and respect”. A school spokesperson said the letter does not mean the premises will close. Ofsted found pupils were subjected to sexist or racist comments.

Its July report said school leaders had not ensured boys understood “how to interact appropriately” with girls, and some male pupils could be rude and make “inappropriate remarks”. In April, a former pupil said present students had come to her in droves following the publication of her blog about her time at the school. She wrote an “undeniable toxic and ubiquitous rape culture was prevalent throughout” the school.

An Ofsted inspection of CRGS, carried out in May, found leadership, behaviour and attitudes, and personal development at the school to be “inadequate”. Sue Baldwin, regional schools commissioner for the East of England and North-East London, said she had “serious concerns that the trust does not have the capacity to make rapid and sustained improvement at the academy”. The school could be taken over by a multi-academy trust if improvements are not made. At the time, headmaster John Russell said the report was “very difficult to read” and it was a “sad day” for the school.

Following the publication of the warning notice, a spokesperson for CRGS said: “The inspection triggers lots of additional support and scrutiny.

“The letter does not, as the wording implies, suggest the school will close.

“It is, however, a legal notice that states that the funding agreement for the school may be transferred to a multi-academy trust if certain conditions are not met as we move forward.

“We are already working at pace to prepare for all that will be asked of us.”

Ofsted visited 32 schools and colleges and spoke to more than 900 young people about sexual harassment after thousands of testimonials were posted on the website Everyone’s Invited.

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