St Stephen’s Catholic Primary School in Skipton has set out a clear plan for improvement after Ofsted placed the school in special measures.

After being rated as outstanding during an inspection in July 2012, the school was judged to be inadequate when another inspection was carried out at the end of February.

Achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management were all rated as inadequate, while inspectors said behaviour and safety of pupils required improvement.

“No doubt it’s come as a massive surprise, given our outstanding Ofsted 18 months ago,” said Kate Molloy, chairman of governors. “Just because you’ve got that outstanding performance badge, they can still come.”

In her report, lead Ofsted inspector Wendy Ripley said: “Standards declined at the end of year six n 2012 and 2013.

"Too many pupils are underachieving because the work set for them does not take account of what they already know.”

Inspectors did acknowledge that pupils were well cared for and felt safe.

The school’s governing body; North Yorkshire County Council and Leeds Diocese are now working closely together to support the school as it implements an action-plan to raise standards.

Mrs Molloy said:“We believe that the issues identified by Ofsted can be addressed quickly.

"We all remain totally committed to ensuring that our children receive the best quality Catholic education possible.”