Ripon primary school placed in special measures

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Ripon Cathedral Primary School has been placed in special measures after an Ofsted report – due to be published next week – found teaching, school leadership and attainment of pupils inadequate.

Ofsted has placed the school in special measures because the pace of improvement has been too slow, although inspectors recognised that the headteacher is clear about the improvements that need to be made.

The report into Ripon Cathedral Primary School says pupils do not make the progress they should in reading, writing and maths.

It also warns there are gaps in attainment between boys and girls and between pupils from deprived backgrounds and their peers.

Inspectors say this is because the school has “not done enough” to check on and support children who are falling behind.

Now education bosses are vowing to ensure the school “swiftly returns to providing children with the highest standards of education”.

Governors and leaders of the school are said to be working with North Yorkshire County Council, the Church of England Diocese of Ripon and Leeds and the Department for Education to secure improvements in teaching and pupils’ results.

A partnership has been developed with Knaresborough St John’s Church of England Primary School which has already helped to support other schools to improve their teaching.

County Coun Arthur Barker, executive member for schools, said: “We are meeting all parties to look at best options to address the issues identified by Ofsted.

“The school is very popular and Ofsted acknowledges children enjoy coming to the school. We must all now work together with some speed to ensure the highest standards are met.”

Richard Noake, the school’s chairman of governors, said: “As both chair and a parent of children in the school, I am disappointed by this judgement but also determined to work with governors to provide the right balance of support, monitoring and challenge to the leadership and staff of the school and to address all key targets in the Ofsted report.

“We do not underestimate the task in front of us, but we are determined that with the support of all partners: school, local authority, diocese, parents and most importantly, the children, we will quickly become a very good school.”

Clive Sedgewick, director of education for the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, said the Diocesan education team and local authority officers will work with the staff and governors to “bring about rapid development in those areas of the school which need to improve”.