AN ACADEMY which was once one of the country's worst secondary schools has been given a "requires improvement" notice by Ofsted.
Quest Academy - included in a list of the 100 best improving schools in the country by the Minister of State for Schools in January - was rated poorly for its high exclusion rate, weak sixth-form mock exam results and teaching inconsistencies.
The academy, sponsored by the Coloma Trust, replaced Selsdon High School in 2010 when the latter was ranked the 11th worst in the country.
During its time as Selsdon High, the school suffered poor exam results and was dogged by claims of scandal and ill-discipline, including a gun being brought into school by a pupil.
Last July, a monitoring inspection from Ofsted praised the academy's head Andy Crofts for his leadership - including a strict new disciplinary code.
However, a year later, inspector Christine Raeside has decided the academy has not improved enough to merit a "good" rating, meaning the school will have another inspection within two years.
"Across subjects, achievement varies," wrote Ms Raeside. "Attainment in 2012 was too low in a range of subjects.
"In many lessons, students learn well, especially in English, where teaching is consistently good. In mathematics, achievement is improving but has been more patchy because of weaknesses in teaching and difficulties recruiting good teachers."
However, she noted that "GCSE results have improved significantly" and "students who belong to minority ethnic backgrounds, such as those of African or Caribbean heritage and those who speak English as an additional language, achieve better than their White British peers."
Although she praised areas of the school's teaching, she wrote: "Where teaching still requires improvement, it is because expectations are too low, the pace of learning is too slow, or activities demand too little".
Ms Raeside also noted the improvement of pupils' behaviour and the effect of discipline, adding: "Permanent and fixed-term exclusions were unacceptably high in the past but are dropping fast.
"Fixed-term exclusions remain higher than academy leaders would wish, but reflect their intolerance of particularly challenging behaviour."
Head teacher Mr Crofts, said: "We have worked very hard to create a disciplined environment in which our students can learn well, and are delighted that this was recognised by Ofsted.
"We are particularly pleased that parents and carers also acknowledge this improvement in behaviour and know now that their sons and daughters are safe and well cared for."
Quest also has funding for a £16million sports centre, which will open in September 2014.