A major multi-academy trust has said that it is “extremely disappointed” that one of its academies has off-rolled pupils and misused attendance figures.
Ormiston Denes Academy, in Lowestoft, was rated "inadequate" by Ofsted inspectors, who found the school had taken pupils off its roll in Year 11 who had been dual-registered at a pupil referral unit.
The report also reveals that the school misused attendance figures by not properly recording the absence of some pupils who been out of school for months or those on part-time timetables.
A spokesperson for Ormiston Academies Trust, which runs 38 schools, described the off-rolling and misuse of attendance figures as "unacceptable" and said the actions of the school were not part of a trust-wide approach.
Quick read: Academy failed for off-rolling pupils
Background: First three cases of off-rolling
The Ofsted report says the process of taking pupils off roll was well established at the school and that it was following a local practice rather than statutory guidance.
An Ormiston Academies Trust spokesperson said: “While the Ofsted report recognises areas where the school has made positive progress, including in teaching and learning, we have taken exceptionally seriously the areas of concern and we are extremely disappointed that they occurred.
"We have appointed a very experienced principal and are confident that there will be no repetition of these unacceptable practices.
“We are committed to ensuring that our students receive the high-quality education that they deserve, in a safe environment where they are supported to reach their potential.
"We will be working tirelessly alongside students, staff, parents/carers, and the wider school community to raise standards and improve outcomes and we are confident that Ofsted will recognise all the progress being made at their next visit.”
Ofsted has vowed to crackdown on off-rolling – where a school has decided to take a pupil off its roll in the interest of the school rather than the child.
Earlier this year, Ofsted also found another school to be off-rolling while following a locally approved approach to removing pupils in Year 11.
Ofsted said Discovery Academy, in Stoke-on-Trent, transferred pupils from the school’s roll when this was not in these young people's interests.
Ormiston Denes Academy’s report rates the school’s leadership and management and personal development, behaviour and welfare as "inadequate".
Outcomes for pupils are said to "require improvement" but the teaching and learning at the school was judged to be "good".