School threatened with funding withdrawal over ‘culture’ of sexism
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Colchester Royal Grammar School has been threatened with having its funding withdrawn after the watchdog found that pupils felt “unsafe” and were subject to sexist or racist comments.
The school has received a termination warning notice after an Ofsted report concluded that leaders failed to address a "pervading culture in the school which does not promote equality and respect".
If improvements are not made, the school, which is for boys up to Year 11 but allows girls in its sixth form, could be taken over by a multi-academy trust.
In April, former student Scarlett Mansfield accused Colchester Royal Grammar of failing to tackle a "rape culture" prevalent throughout the school.
The Ofsted report of the Lexden Road school, which was published in July, said boys made "inappropriate remarks" and found leaders had not ensured male pupils understood “how to interact appropriately” with girls.
A letter from Sue Baldwin, regional schools commissioner for the East of England, suggested that the funding agreement of the academy may be terminated.
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Ms Baldwin said she had "serious concerns that the trust does not have the capacity to make rapid and sustained improvement at the academy".
After the warning notice was published, a spokesman for Colchester Royal Grammar School said: “The inspection triggers lots of additional support and scrutiny.
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"Not only will Ofsted visit us more regularly to monitor our progress against key actions, but the school is also issued with what is known as a termination warning notice.
"We appreciate that sounds quite daunting, but it is our understanding that this is something that is issued to every academy that receives an inadequate grade.
"We always knew this letter would arrive within days of the Ofsted judgment being published. 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.
"There continues to be further discussions about what this outcome means for CRGS.
"We are working with the Department for Education and Regional Schools Commissioner to discuss the increased focus that the school will be under, and how we continue to move forward for our community."