A BOMBSHELL report has revealed failures at an Oxford school, with pupils and even staff confiding in Ofsted that they felt 'scared' and 'unsafe'.

The Oxford Academy has been rated 'inadequate' and placed back in special measures, almost four years after it was rated 'good' for the first time ever.

The 1,068-pupil secondary school in Littlemore was given the rating in all areas except its sixth form, which was judged to 'require improvement'.

Bullying and violence were highlighted as major concerns in the report, which went live this morning.

School leaders are confident of improvements and say the academy has already progressed since the inspection - read their reaction here

Inspectors wrote: "The behaviour of a growing minority of pupils has become unruly, unkind and unsafe.

"Many pupils rightly told us that they feel very worried about coming to the school.

"Incidents of violence and abuse, including fights between pupils, are increasing."

The inspection took place in November, and was triggered by safeguarding concerns raised by Oxfordshire County Council.

Ofsted said pupils use 'homophobic language' and others are 'scared to use communal areas'.

The report added: "Frequent behaviour incidents, in class and out, disrupt daily life.

"Several staff told us that they feel unsafe.

"They are frustrated and disheartened, because leaders do not support them effectively."

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Inspectors said pupils 'do not get a good deal at this school' and that they 'are not prepared well enough for life in modern Britain'.

They highlighted a 'negative culture' and said support for pupils’ mental health is weak, as was provision for pupils with special needs or disabilities (SEND).

The school serves some of Oxford's most disadvantaged areas, and more than half of pupils are eligible for free school meals - almost double the national average.

A quarter of pupils have identified SEND, which is also well above the national average.

Ofsted said there had been 'many staff changes', adding: "Some pupils feel they have lost the trusted adults that they can talk to when they have concerns."

The report described leaders as 'hugely overstretched' and said there was a 'poor culture of vigilance'. It added: "Until very recently, leaders have not acted on the large number of serious concerns about pupils’ safety.

"They have missed signs which show that pupils are at risk.

"Leaders have failed to understand the scale of some issues...Governors have had an inaccurate view of crucial aspects."

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Inspectors said the curriculum and behaviour in the sixth form are 'better', however, and that students 'value the careers advice and guidance they receive.'

However, pupil absence was still raised as a concern.

Bad Ofsted reports marred the school's reputation and that of its predecessor the Peers School, until an inspection in 2016, when it was rated 'good' with 'outstanding' leadership.

Since the latest inspection, the school's governors have resigned and the headteacher has left.

Experienced educators have formed an 'interim academy board' to drive improvements and an interim headteacher, David Terry, has taken up post.

The academy is sponsored by the Diocese of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and the Beecroft Trust.

The River Learning Trust, which runs several Oxfordshire schools including the 'outstanding'-rated Cherwell, has taken the academy under its wing and has agreed 'in principle' to take it over.