Academy to crack down on 'boisterous' behaviour after inspection

UCL Academy in Swiss Cottage

UCL Academy in Swiss Cottage - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A Camden school has been told to improve after inspectors found students were  "displaying a lack of respect for the school environment".

Inspectors from the education watchdog Ofsted visited the secondary school in Swiss Cottage – which has more than 1,100 students – on March 29-30.

The school, which teaches pupils aged 11-18, was given a rating of "requires improvement" in two areas – "behaviour and attitudes" and "leadership and management" – and received that rating overall.

It was rated "good" in three other categories, and the school's leadership said it is "taking steps" to address areas criticised.

The report says: “Teachers have high expectations for pupils’ academic achievement. These high expectations do not routinely extend to behaviour.”

Inspectors were concerned about "boisterous" behaviour exhibited by students on several occasions at the school which was previously rated "good".

The report highlights positives, saying: “Leaders have mapped out the curriculum with care.

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"They have thought about what they want pupils to learn and the best order in which to learn it.” 

Inspectors praised the school for enabling access to nearby facilities at The Crib, the Camden Centre for Learning, and Westminster Kingsway College. 

In a letter to parents, school governors said: “We are grateful that the inspectors recognise the many strengths of the UCL Academy, which reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff. Governors are already taking steps, appropriate to our role, to work with the Academy and ensure that we continually improve whilst maintaining our strong vision and ethos.”

The school has since returned to pre-pandemic uniform guidelines, provides more support to teachers on a "lesson-by-lesson" basis, and will be implementing new "policies" to combat bad behaviour starting in September.

“We feel that the things that they were concerned about have already been resolved and we expect them back in two years,” said co-principal Robin Street.

“If they would like to come back sooner, we’d love to see them sooner and celebrate in its entirety, this fantastic school.”