A North London school has been told it needs to improve by education watchdogs following concerns about English lessons. 

New Level Academy in Wembley was given a rating of “requires improvement” following its latest inspection by Ofsted. 

Inspectors were somewhat satisfied with the school’s performance and pupils’ experience there, but they expressed concerns about English lessons. 


They said students were not given enough opportunities to “write at length”, while they do not read “a broad range” of fiction and non-fiction books that would help them develop “a love for reading”. 

This was particularly concerning given that lots of pupils at the school have “low levels of literacy” and many do not use English as their first language, the report added. Inspectors were also concerned about the type of vocabulary used in lessons, which, they said, would not prepare them well for key exams. 

They acknowledged discussions are underway on how to address this and recommended that any new English teacher hires were made aware of the problems in the department. Despite the concerns, the school was praised for its approach to supporting students who do not have English as their mother tongue when it comes to speaking exercises. 

The report said: “Pupils have gaps in their learning because of their previous experiences. Many speak English as an additional language. Many lack confidence in their abilities. Teachers help pupils to conquer this fear by assessing them in class each week. Pupils value this. They can see they are making progress. This builds up their confidence and spurs them on.”

It said pupils are well behaved and respectful of staff. The report also said students “enjoy coming to school each day”, are punctual and respond well to goals set by their teachers. 

Inspectors added pupils are well prepared for life outside of school, as they are taught about family dynamics, including same-sex relationships, religion and diveristy, and keeping fit and healthy. The Local Democracy Reporting Service has contacted New Level Academy for comment.