TORQUAY'S Westlands School has been put in the 'special measures' category by Ofsted.
A report just published after an inspection of the school in June shows it has gone from 'Good' to 'Inadequate' since its last full report in June 2010.
Today the head teacher said improvements were already under way.
According to the report, achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management are inadequate, while the behaviour and safety of pupils requires improvement.
The report says: "Students’ attainment has not improved sufficiently over the last three years. It has fallen in many respects when compared to national averages.
"Achievement is inadequate because too many students do not make enough progress in a range of subjects, including English, mathematics and core science.
"Gaps in achievement between different groups of students are too wide. Boys do less well than girls. Students who are known to be eligible for free school meals do not make enough progress.
"The sixth form requires improvement because students do not make good progress in their final year.
"Teachers’ expectations of what students should achieve are not always high enough.
"Leaders and managers are not demonstrating that they can substantially improve the school’s performance.
"The quality of teaching is inadequate overall, despite the support and training provided for teachers. Inspectors observed some strong teaching, but too much is not good enough.
"Teachers do not check students’ progress well enough, or use the resulting information to ensure that lessons are planned with the right level of difficulty for all ability groups.
"Checks on how well policies and new developments are put into practice in classrooms lack rigour. They have not resulted in better achievement.
"The governing body’s challenges to the school about achievement and the quality of teaching have not yet successfully influenced results. The governing body is not checking effectively enough on the use of additional government funding (the pupil premium).
"The school has the following strengths:
"The students have remained safe and the school is a friendly place to be.
"The school’s provision for developing students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural values is good."
Headteacher Colin Kirkman said: "I acknowledge the comments made by inspectors and I would like to reassure everyone that we have already taken action to address the issues identified by Ofsted. I am proud of our students and staff and I believe we do have many strengths, but like all schools we have areas in which we need to improve. Torbay Council has worked with Westlands School to put in place a support package, and through this we have developed a positive partnership with Ivybridge Community College, which is an 'Outstanding' school. They have visited us on several occasions to review the school, challenge practice and support us in moving forward.
"They have complimented us on the calm learning environment; the good behaviour of the students; the good relationship between staff and students; the happiness of the students and the way we care for them; and have recognised strengths in many areas. The main focus of their work has been in improving student progress in Maths and English and, as a result, we have made significant improvements in these areas that will result in improved student outcomes. Westlands will also be supported with termly visits by Government inspectors to ensure we are making good progress.
"The good news is that our 2013 summer exam results answered some of the key issues raised in the report - improvements in Maths and Core Science and excellent results at A2. In addition, students achieved really well across the rest of the school - students made better than expected progress in 17 different KS4 / GCSE subjects. Notably, our most able students made very good progress.
"When we combine the local authority support package with our exam success in the summer, and the improvements in practice we have made over the last few months in partnership with Ivybridge Community College, we are confident of addressing the issues identified by Ofsted and confident of building on our strong foundations to become an even better school."
Torbay Council's Executive Lead for Children, Schools and Families, Councillor Ken Pritchard, said: “The Ofsted inspection is disappointing and we are now working closely with the school on a comprehensive action plan to address the issues identified in the report. We are offering Westlands all the support we can, to help it meet the challenges and make the necessary improvements as quickly as possible, to enable the school to continue to move forward."