AN independent Muslim girls school has been told it must improve by Ofsted.

The education watchdog visited Al-Markaz Academy, Beckside Lane, Lidget Green last month and branded it as ‘requires improvement’ in its overall effectiveness. It received the same rating in every other category apart from personal development, behaviour and welfare, which was judged as ‘good’.

The school, which has 20 pupils between the ages of 11 and 14, received the requires improvement rating in a previous inspection in 2015.

In their latest report, inspectors said: “Teachers’ planning does not sufficiently take into account pupils’ prior learning.

“As a result, lower attaining pupils sometimes struggle with tasks and the most able pupils sometimes find work too easy.

“Pupils do not receive up-to-date careers advice to help them make informed choices about future education, training or career destinations.”

The report also stated progress is “variable” across different subjects and lower attaining pupils’ progress is not strong enough in English and higher attaining pupils’ progress is not strong enough in mathematics.

“Leaders and managers have not ensured that all the independent school standards are consistently met,” inspectors said.

They pointed out that leaders and proprietors have not fully addressed the areas for improvement at the previous inspection, but said plans to introduce more regular assessments have had a more positive effect.

The headteacher is new to the role and while she is “keen to bring about improvements to the school”, information on the quality of teaching and pupils’ outcomes has not been analysed carefully enough, the report outlined.

However, the head, proprietor and staff are praised for creating a “compassionate, supportive and nurturing” culture.

Behaviour is said to be good and pupils are described as being “courteous and well mannered”, behaving well in lessons and at social times.

The report also outlined: “Pupils are keen to come to school and their attendance levels are high.

“Since opening, the school has grown in popularity and has the maximum number of pupils on roll.”

Al-Markaz Academy was approached for a comment, but did not reply before going to press.

A statement on the school’s website says: “Our most recent Ofsted visit took place in September 2017 in which the lead inspector was pleased with the systems that had been put into place since our last inspection. We fulfilled the vast majority of the independent school standards and are hopeful that we will continue to make progress in the near future.”