WATCHDOGS say a Basingstoke secondary school needs to improve after its GCSE results for 2012 were the lowest in four years.

Fort Hill Community School was visited by Ofsted inspectors on March 6 and 7, and they have concluded that it “requires improvement” in all areas.

Last year, the school, in Kenilworth Road, Winklebury suffered a downturn in its GCSE results, with 42 per cent of pupils achieving five A* to C, including English and maths, which inspectors said was “below expectation.” Although this figure saw Fort Hill hit the Government benchmark, it was below the national average.

Inspectors said, however, that since September, the school has been “tracking students very carefully to ensure that they make expected progress or better and reach their target grades”, and they noted that the current Year 11 students are “set to make better than expected progress in both English and maths.”

The report said the quality of teaching “requires improvement”. The inspectors added: “During recent months, the school has focused on improving the quality of teaching and learning, and as a result, the quality of teaching is improving, but there is still some variability in its quality.”

Inspectors said the behaviour of pupils also needs to improve. They added: “The best behaviour in lessons results from high-quality teaching where there are plenty of opportunities for students to find out things for themselves in a supportive but challenging environment.

“When teaching fails to motivate students, some of them sit back and let others answer questions, and a very small minority of them misbehave.”

Leadership and management of the school were also graded as “requires improvement”, although inspectors said the work of long-serving headteacher Lesley Lawson was having a “positive effect”.

Fort Hill, which has 671 pupils, was graded as “satisfactory” the last time it was inspected in November 2010.

This category has since been replaced by the education watchdog with “requires improvement.”

The Gazette tried to contact Mrs Lawson but she did not return any of our calls.