A PRIMARY school has said it is “determined to rapidly improve” following its latest Ofsted report, which saw its performance rating drop from “good” to “inadequate”.

In the report, released last week following an inspection in March, inspectors said the leadership team at Thornton Dale C of E Primary School has “failed to stem a decline in performance over time”.

They added: “Senior leaders have not successfully embedded a culture of high expectations among staff. The weak quality of teaching, learning and assessment significantly hampers pupils’ progress.”

Although the efforts of the new chairman of governors are praised, the report adds: “Governors have not been sufficiently rigorous in holding leaders to account for persistent weaknesses in pupils’ progress and attainment.”

It mentions some positive findings, including that pupils are “friendly, happy and feel safe”, but recommends the school enters special measures and allows an external review of its governance.

The report was published just weeks after head teacher Lorna Karetnyk announced her retirement in April.

Judith Kirk, North Yorkshire County Council’s assistant director for education and skills, said that a “comprehensive package of support” is being put in place, alongside the Diocese, to address the main issues.

It includes supporting school leaders with a national leader and improvement team and providing adviser support for maths, English, early years and the wider curriculum. There will also be staff training and a governance review.

She added: “Ofsted noted that leadership in the teaching of maths and special educational needs has strengthened recently and we are seeking to build rapidly on this. Inspectors noted that pupils at the school are happy and feel safe and so all partners are pulling together to provide the high quality teaching and learning that all children should enjoy.”

Andrew Smith, Diocesan director of education for the Diocese of York, added: “The Diocese of York will continue to work in partnership with the local authority to offer assistance to the governing body and the school community. We continue to support the head teacher and wider school leadership in their determination to bring about rapid improvements within the school.”