A PREVIOUSLY outstanding school has been branded inadequate after inspectors raised serious concerns over safeguarding.

The King John School, in Thundersley, was criticised by Ofsted inspectors for not keeping the most vulnerable pupils safe or following the legal rules designed to protect them.

The most able pupils are also being let down.

The school was inspected on February 26 and 27, with the leadership and management at the school rated inadequate, and the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils was branded requires improvement.

READ MORE: In full: School's apologetic letter as rating tumbles from outstanding to inadequate

The school, which has roughly 2000 pupils, was rated as good in terms of quality of teaching, outcomes for pupils and 16 to 19 study programmes.

The school was rated as outstanding in 2013, but the latest report states the school has not maintained the "outstanding quality of education".

The report also added that leaders have an "overinflated view of the school's effectiveness".

Concerns were also raised that pupils had a very limited understanding of the risks attached to county lines, drug dealing and gangs.

Ofsted inspectors acknowledged that the quality of teaching is high, and outcomes for pupils are good, particularly at the sixth form, while the curriculum was also praised.

A letter sent from the school's head to parents, which has been seen by the Echo, stated that concerns over safeguarding are "not acceptable", and that an external review of governance will take place, as well as a full review of school leadership and management.

Despite some positives in the report the leadership failings by senior figures at the school, and governors, were so significant the school was rated as inadequate overall.

The full report will be published tomorrow.