CHILDREN at a special school have been accused of making derogatory comments about gender, race and sexual orientation – and teachers are not taking action.

Ramsden Hall Academy, in Heath Road, Billericay has been told to shape up by inspectors after it was rated as requires improvement by Ofsted.

The special school was rated as requires improvement in all four of the main inspection categories, including quality of teaching and outcomes for pupils.

Major concerns were raised over some pupils “freely” using “highly derogatory language” with some of this going completely unchecked or punished.

The report stated adults often ignore the language, seeing it as part of the “overall special education needs”.

Ofsted said many pupils had “additional special educational needs” including autism, ADHD and communication difficulties, with 17 of the 97 pupils boarding at the school.

The report read: “A small core of pupils direct highly derogatory language at staff and peers.

“There is little distinction in school policies and practice about the type of derogatory language used.

“Adults too readily accept that all derogatory language is part of pupils’ overall special educational needs and is perceived as ‘swearing’.

“Some pupils spoken with stated that adults ask them to stop and they know they should not swear, while others continue to make derogatory comments about gender, race and sexual orientation that goes unchecked.”

The report also stated that academic achievements are not good enough in years six to nine, attendance is below national average, views of parents are mixed, and the school does not meet the national minimum standards for residential special schools.

The academy headteacher and senior leaders were praised for establishing a strong ethos, while pupils behave in the residential environment and staff form positive relationships with pupils.

Ramsden Hall School was sponsored as an academy and became part of the Parallel Learning Trust in April 2016.

The school, part of the Parallel Learning Trust, was rated good in its last inspection.

The academy told the Echo it had nothing further to add to the report.