BULLYING is a "normal part of school life" and pupils "do not feel safe" at a Canvey school rated inadequate by Ofsted in its first inspection since becoming an academy.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Vaagen Road, Canvey, was hit with the lowest possible rating after it was inspected on January 18 and 19 In a report published last week, inspectors highlighted pupil's concerns around bullying as well as stating there was an "inadequate quality of education".

The school was contacted by the Echo with a series of questions about the concerns, however, school bosses refused to comment.

The report said: "Pupils say that they often hear the offensive language and see others being aggressive at playtime and lunchtime.

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"Pupils feel that adults do not deal with bullying or prevent it from happening and do not trust adults to deal with poor behaviour.

"Some pupils say bullying is a normal part of school life and they do not feel safe."

The Ofsted report also mentioned poor quality of education and leaders failing to address the weaknesses of the school.

The report continued: "Pupils are receiving an inadequate quality of education.

"Leaders have not implemented a broad curriculum that prepares pupils for the next stage of their education.

"Pupils do not spend enough time learning the basics of English and mathematics and as a result, they do not develop the vital knowledge they need and get confused in lessons."

The primary school, which caters for 201 children, was previously rated good before converting to an academy.

Inspectors noted issues with leadership and teaching, saying: "Staff are not confident with reporting low-level concerns about pupils and, as a result, the early signs of abuse are not recognised.

"Leaders' record-keeping is poor and the records do not outline how concerns are followed up, what actions have been taken or the decisions reached.

"Leaders do not have a clear understanding or grasp of the safeguarding information they hold, leaving pupils at risk of significant harm."

The report continued to highlight the lacking understanding of SEND pupils: "Expectations for pupils with SEND are low and the support they receive is imprecise. Leaders should ensure that they accurately identify pupils’ needs.

Students also do not display the school’s values, such as respect, the report said: "Older pupils are often mean and aggressive towards one another.

"Pupils often become frustrated in lessons and lose interest in learning."

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