A South London secondary school has been criticised by inspectors, saying pupils aren’t given enough time to study art, music and technology.

St Paul’s Academy in Abbey Wood, Greenwich, has been rated as ‘Requires improvement’ by Ofsted in a report published last week.

The report said that pupils’ at the school were unable to study some subjects in depth in later years due to them choosing their GCSE subjects in Year 8.

This reportedly was in contrast to the ‘broad curriculum’ of subjects that pupils studied in Years 7 and 8.

The inspector said in their report: “The time allocated to subjects such as art, music and technology is limited. In Year 8, pupils decide which subjects to study at GCSE.

“The subjects that pupils study from Year 9 onwards are based on these GCSE decisions. Because pupils discontinue some subjects after Year 8, they are unable to develop their learning as successfully in all areas of the curriculum to the end of Year 9.”

The school’s handling of disruptive behaviour from pupils was also criticised. They said leaders at the school should ensure staff have high expectations of pupil’s behaviour.

The inspector said in their report: “Around the school, pupils’ conduct is typically calm and sensible.

However, pockets of low-level disruption in lessons remain.

Sometimes, staff do not apply the school’s behaviour policy consistently, which impacts on pupils’ learning of the curriculum.”

The report said that new leaders in the school had identified the issue of subjects not being available to study in depth in later years.

It continued by saying important changes had been made to the curriculum which would be implemented from this September to ensure pupils receive their full curriculum entitlement from Years 7 to 9.

The new leaders at the school were also praised for supporting staff and being mindful of their workload.

The report said “lasting improvements” had already been seen in the school.

The report said: “New leaders have an ambitious vision for the school. They have a realistic view of what needs to improve and have identified the most important priorities. They have wasted no time in securing changes to the quality of education and expectations of pupils’ behaviour and attitudes.”

St Paul’s Academy is a mixed secondary school on Finchale Road in Abbey Wood. The report said the inspection was the first the school had received since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The school reportedly has 1,153 students enrolled and saw a new headmaster join in January. St Paul’s Academy was approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication.