The work being done by the headteacher and his staff to improve their primary school is ‘already bearing fruit’, but did not stop Ofsted saying it needs to improve.
Although senior teachers at Bryning with Warton St Paul’s Church of England Primary School, in Lytham Road, have a ‘realistic’ view of the school’s position and are ‘determinedly addressing weaknesses’, the education watchdog dropped its ranking from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’.
In a report, inspector Tanya Hughes criticised pupils’ progress; ‘some’ of the teaching; and its curriculum, which she said ‘does not provide opportunities for pupils to apply their key skills in writing and mathematics in other areas’.
She said: “Leaders have been too slow to respond to the decline in pupils’ achievement since the previous inspection.
“School leaders have not ensure that teaching is consistently effective. This slows pupils’ learning and is in part due to staff absences.”
But she added: “Leaders have successfully addressed issues of staff absence, and now have the capacity to make further improvements to teaching and learning.
The impact of recent work in this area is evident in current pupils’ progress, particularly in reading and mathematics.”
Behaviour is ‘good’, vulnerable youngsters are given ‘high levels of care’, and the early years department was described as ‘effective’ in helping pupils ‘get off to a good start’.
Phonics teaching – a method of teaching children to read and writing – was also praised.
A school spokesman said: “The Ofsted report recognises that our children are happy and safe, and there is good behaviour throughout the school.
“Since last year, governors and school leaders have been working with Lancashire County Council education advisors to ensure all our children receive the best education possible, and we have made some radical changes and improvements.
“In their report, Ofsted acknowledges the improvements already made whilst appreciating it’s too soon to see their full impact in the data.
“We thank our staff and families for their continuing support, and are confident that rapid progress has been and will continue to be made.”