A school has been ordered to improve for the second time in two years following a visit by Ofsted inspectors.

King Harold Academy, in Broomstick Hall Road, Waltham Abbey, was said to have “severe staffing problems”, which meant some poor behaviour was not dealt with.

A report published following a visit on March 6 and 7 said: “During the inspection, inspectors witnessed examples of inappropriate behaviour in lessons.

“Usually, the teachers involved were either very inexperienced or agency staff who were filling short term vacancies.”

Teaching in mathematics was highlighted as a particular problem.

The report continued: “Too frequently, the approach is to plan work of just one level that is designed to fill time rather than challenge and extend learning.”

The academy, headed by Denice Halpin, was praised in some areas.

The report said: “The academy’s work to keep students safe and secure is good. Students say that they feel safe and that they are well-cared for.”

Pupil attendance has also improved and spending on projects, such as teaching archery, was recognised as positive.

The governing board was complimented and the teaching of basic numeracy and literacy was also said to be improving.

In a statement this morning the school said that it is confident that it will get it right ‘next time’.

It said: “We have taken the comments from Ofsted on board, we are aware of the areas that require improvement and we have already begun work to put them right.  We are pleased with the positive comments highlighting our strengths that have come out of the report.

“We recognise that the school “requires improvement” and we are confident that by the next Ofsted visit the school will have seen accelerated progress.”