A HEADTEACHER claims watchdogs' criticism of her school is "extremely harsh" after being told it must improve by inspectors.

Clacton Coastal Academy, in Pathfields Road, was only rated as grade three – 'requires improving' – by education watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors published their report this week following an inspection at the 1,800-pupil school in December.

The five-point scoring system has changed to a four-point framework since the school achieved a grade three - satisfactory - in November 2011.

The academy was told it needed to improve the literacy skills of pupils as soon as they come to the school and boost their vocabulary.

The most able students should also be given more challenging work and that marking must be followed up with students.

But the report said leadership at the academy had improved, students had a thirst for knowledge and progress was rising.

Principal Tracey Hemming said: “I’m pleased with the many positive comments made in the report, but because of the change in grading framework we have stayed at grade three - requires improving.

“I feel they have been extremely harsh on the teaching and learning side.

“I do have considerable concerns in the conduct of the inspection and the rational for some of the gradings.

“Generally speaking, the report reads better than the grade and says that we are making massive progress."