Offord Primary School has been rated inadequate by Ofsted, with inspectors saying staff had not responded ‘efficiently to a decline in standards’.

The school, in Millers Close, has been placed in 'special measures' by Ofsted after it was rated inadequate in three out of the five assessed categories.

Inspectors said that the school needs to 'urgently improve leadership and management, including governance by ensuring that senior and middle leader are held to account for the quality of their work and their contributions'.

In the report written by lead inspector Jacqueline Bell-Cook, concerns were also raised regarding the effectiveness of the assessment system.

She said: "Targets set for pupils lack aspiration and leaders at all levels think that adequate progress equates to good progress. Leaders and teachers do not understand what good progress looks like.

"Following disappointing outcomes in the 2018 national test results, more regular target support has been provided, particularly with leadership and mathematics. The local authority has identified concerns about the quality of education being provided and the leadership of the school."

Concerns were also raised about the progress pupils at the school are achieving, with leaders being criticised for not 'effectively analysing pupils performance'.

Ms Bell-Cook said: "Attainment in writing in 2018 remained below national averages at both key stage 1 and key stage 2. The opportunity for Offord pupils to catch up with other pupil's nationally in writing has been weak. There is no evidence to suggest that this situation is improving for current pupils.

"Pupil's underachievement in writing and mathematics has resulted in a significant minority of pupils not reaching the expected standards by the end of Year 6. As a result, Offord pupils are not being well prepared for their next stages of education."

However, the school was praised for the behaviour of children and the personal development pupils receive.

Ms Bell-Cook said: "Staff know their pupils well and are alter to any changes in behaviour or attitude. Pupils demonstrate respect, both to each other and towards adults. They are polite, considerate and confident."

In a statement, a spokesman for school governors said: "Work has already begun with advisors from the local authority to address the issues raised during the inspection and there is a plan in place to rapidly improve the school. You will note that personal development, behaviour and welfare remains the strongest aspect of the school and were judged to be good.

"I would like to apologise wholeheartedly for the failings identified by this inspection. Governors will do whatever is necessary to restore our school to the level of excellence that the pupils deserve."