A School in Shrewsbury school was labelled “inadequate” after its students told Ofsted inspectors that incidents of racist comments, homophobic behaviours and sexual harassment were commonplace.

The Meole Brace School in Shrewsbury was found to “require improvement” according to Ofsted. The report stated,


“A significant minority of pupils misbehave in lessons. This disrupts the learning of others. Where this happens, staff do not deal with this consistently well. Leaders have not yet done enough to ensure that all staff address the poor behaviour of pupils effectively. Pupils told inspectors that incidents of racist comments, homophobic behaviours and sexual harassment are commonplace.

Students not confident in staff to deal with their issues.

They are not confident that staff will deal with their concerns if they raise them. Because of this, pupils do not report concerns and have accepted the inappropriate behaviour they experience.”

“Some pupils do not enjoy school as much as they should. Many pupils express unhappiness about access to, and the condition of, the school’s toilet facilities.

Homophobic bullying in school


In 2017 a study by the University of Cambridge found that 45% of gay students face homophobic bullying. Among gay pupils, 45% have encountered bullying, primarily in the form of insults or gossip. However, 7% reported experiencing physical attacks, and 4% reported receiving “death threats.”

Alan Doust, headteacher, said, “It is not so much that we disagreed with some of the things they said, it is more that we think Ofsted failed to balance the things they found out in a proportionate way, or to take a wide enough sample and perspective.”

Liz Malpass, chair of governors, said, “The school has been in dispute with Ofsted since the inspection, because, like many schools, we are concerned about how heavily they have relied on a smaller sample of our school community, and we think there are inconsistencies with other inspections.”


Read more about the school’s s response here.

The role of Ofsted

Ofsted stands for the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It is a non-ministerial government department in the United Kingdom responsible for inspecting and regulating schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. Ofsted’s primary role is to evaluate and report on the quality of education and services provided by these institutions to ensure that they meet the standards and requirements set by the government.

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Ofsted inspections assess various aspects of education and care, including the quality of teaching, the effectiveness of leadership and management, the overall student or learner experience, and safeguarding and child protection measures. These inspections play a crucial role in holding educational institutions accountable and helping parents, students, and the public make informed decisions about where to access education and childcare services.

In addition to schools and colleges, Ofsted also inspects and regulates other services related to children and young people, such as early years childcare providers, adoption and fostering agencies, and children’s social care services. Ofsted’s findings and reports are made available to the public and contribute to ongoing efforts to improve the quality of education and services for children and learners in the UK.

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