A primary school in Adlington “squanders” the funding for disadvantaged pupils, say inspectors at an education watchdog.
The Ofsted report also says that “endemic weaknesses” in the leadership and management at St Paul’s Church of England Primary School has led to a decline in the quality of teaching and learning.
Following the damning report, which rates St Paul’s as Inadequate, the school now requires special measures to be taken to ensure improvement.
The school’s latest Ofsted report states: “This school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement of the school.”
Inspectors also stated that the “poorly taught curriculum lacks depth” and that leaders at the Railway Road school have not done enough to support staff to improve.
Headteacher Richard Roberts said the school is taking on board the findings.
He said: “Although we are disappointed with our latest Ofsted report, we accept the issues raised and, are developing a wide-ranging improvement plan to address the matters identified.
“The report did contain some praise including the good attendance of pupils and that staff deal with behaviour appropriately, with parents having no concerns about pupils’ behaviour. The inspectors also commented that the pupils are delightful to talk with, are respectful and humorous, and are a credit to their parents.
“It was particularly satisfying to know that the inspectors recognised that parents feel that the school keeps their children safe and that pupils are well looked after. Parents are also appreciative of the work done by staff to support their children.”
Inspectors identified a number of key areas where the school needs to improve including rectifying the weaknesses in leadership, improving the progress of different groups of pupils in all key stages, improving the quality of teaching to establish higher aspirations and improving the quality of teaching in the early years.
Mr Roberts said: “We are determined that progress will be made quickly so that improvements can happen both effectively and quickly, on those areas where we can do better. These include developing leadership across the school and raising attainment, by improving the consistency of both teaching and students’ work.
“We will work closely with the county council to improve, and to meet the challenge. The local authority, working with the school’s management committee, will provide additional support so that progress can be made quickly.
“The leadership team is committed to working together effectively to drive improvements with the full support of the staff and governors.
“Staff are very positive about the need to address the issues that Ofsted identified to raise achievement for all.
“Parents are being kept fully informed and I’d like to reassure them that we are fully committed to providing the best education we can for our pupils.”
Mr Roberts became headteacher at St Paul’s in January 2012. In its Ofsted inspection of 2013 the school had achieved a rating of Good.
Strengths of the school included that the pupils are well cared for, and relationships between staff and pupils are positive.
The report also said that the use of the primary school sport and physical education funding is effective.