A SPECIAL school has been told to improve its quality of education by the national education watchdog.

Sutton House Academy in Southend was rated ‘requires improvement’ overall by Ofsted following an inspection in October.

The report, published on November 24, is its first since opening in 2017. School leadership was rated ‘good’ as was students’ personal development, but its overall rating was dragged down by the quality of education and pupils’ behaviour and attitudes.

Sutton House is a SEMH school; Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are a type of special educational needs in which children have severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour.

“While leaders have established provision that meets pupils’ social, emotional and mental health needs well, the quality of education that pupils receive across the curriculum is variable,” the report said.

“In some subjects, for example, in mathematics, the new curriculum tries to cover too much, too quickly. Insufficient time is given for pupils to practise and revisit learning so that they remember more of the things they are taught.”

Pupils’ attendances was highlighted as one of the barriers to achievement. While inspectors did praise school leadership for working with families which had led to “significant improvements” for some individuals, the report noted that too any pupils were still not attending as regularly as they should be.

The school was also praised for reducing incidents of challenging behaviour across.

“However, some staff are not consistent in applying the school’s behaviour policy, especially in challenging pupils who swear or use other inappropriate language,” the report said.

Staff told Ofsted inspectors that the school’s leaders were “supportive” and that morale across the school has improved.

Pupils told inspectors that they felt safe in school.

Inspectors wrote: “They build positive relationships with staff and trust them to sort things out if they have a problem.”

Sutton House was further praised for providing pupils with sporting opportunities such as playing football and boxing and strong provision of practical subjects like food technology.

Inspectors added: “Pupils are supported effectively to take their next steps in education at the end of Year 11. Many go on to further studies, training and/or employment when they leave.”

Sutton House has been contacted for comment.