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Inspectors find 'low standards'

The school which expelled a pupil for criticising its quality of teaching was this week found to have "unacceptably low" standards by council inspectors.

Queen Elizabeth's School in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, is also expected to be criticised in a report by the Office for Standards in Education next week.

The school hit the headlines in the summer when 15-year-old Sarah Briggs was excluded for contacting her local paper to complain about standards. She was reinstated this term, despite having refused to apologise for her actions.

Earlier this month head Nicola Atkin resigned, saying she felt the school needed a fresh start.

The Nottinghamshire report was intended to chart the school's progress after critical assessments by the council in 1995 and the Office for Standards in Education a year later. It revealed little improvement, with standards below national levels and teaching unsatisfactory or poor in a "significant minority" of lessons. Inspectors also found bad discipline in some classes and "an almost universal lack of confidence" in school management.

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