VERBAL abuse, risk to children and physical assaults are all listed in a damning Ofsted report of Brighton and Hove’s biggest school.

Cardinal Newman Catholic School has been graded as requiring improvement by the government’s education watchdog after inspectors were sent in amid safeguarding fears.

It comes after we exclusively revealed yesterday that a teacher at The Upper Drive site, Hove, was suspended last year over an alleged sexual relationship with a pupil.

Simon Hughes, who compiled the report, said: “The inspection was scheduled in response to qualifying complaints of a child protection nature, and that these had been investigated by the appropriate authorities.”

In 2012 the school was just one grade from the best possible Ofsted rating. But the latest inspection, on December 9, saw the school slump to one grade from the worst.

Mr Hughes added: “Inspectors observed some boisterous behaviour when pupils were moving between lessons.

“The school provided inspectors with extremely detailed information which showed a high incidence of low-level disruption.

“It also showed several examples of more serious breaches of discipline, including truancy, failing to attend detention, verbal abuse and physical assaults.”

The report also criticised the school’s handling of bullying, the effectiveness of the board of governors and the gap between the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and advantaged pupils.

The school’s headteacher James Kilmartin said staff and governors are determined to make improvements.

He said: “While we were disappointed by the judgement and concerned by some aspects of the inspection process we do see this as an opportunity to further improve the school.

“The report lays out some clear areas for improvement and we will now be creating and implementing a school improvement plan to ensure that we make rapid and sustainable progress.

“The staff and the governors are united in their determination to make Cardinal Newman a truly great school.

“We would like to thank all parents, carers, students and friends of CNCS for their support and prayers at this time.

“Working together we can and will fulfil our mission to secure the highest quality of learning and teaching that inspires us all to discover and develop our God-given gifts and talents, to excel in the present and aim high for the future.”