A PRIMARY School is “beginning to restore parents’ confidence” and turn its fortunes around after a highly critical Ofsted report last year.

In July the school inspection body judged Nessfield Primary, in Keighley to be inadequate in every category.

The report said standards had declined and there was “regular bullying and racist abuse” at the school, which has 450 pupils.

Following the inspection, major changes were brought in, including the appointment of Janet Keefe as an interim headteacher, an “interim executive board” being brought in to replace existing governors, and the school finding a new substantive headteacher, Linda Hanson, who started earlier this month, a substantive deputy headteacher and a substantive leader for the early years.

Work is also being done to find an academy chain for the school to join.

Ofsted returned to the school in November for a follow up inspection, and said Mrs Keefe’s appointment has been a “catalyst to improvements.”

The letter says: “Your knowledge and expertise, along with your commitment to the school, staff, children and the local community, have been a catalyst to a range of improvements. You have established much needed stability across a number of areas of the school and are beginning to restore parents’ confidence in the school. Your excellent relationships with members of the interim executive board and the local authority have allowed you to drive improvements swiftly.

“You clearly prioritised safeguarding, and the rapid improvements you have secured in a very short space of time lay the foundation for building on further developments in other areas of the school.

“Both parents and children reported that behaviour has vastly improved since the last inspection. They say bullying happens on rare occasions, but when it does, staff deal with it appropriately. Pupils spoken with reported that they feel safe in school.”

Headteacher Linda Hanson said: ““Ofsted have found that safeguarding is now effective and that the action plan put in place after the last inspection is helping to bring about improvements.

"The progress which has been made so far gives our school a good foundation to build on. As the newly appointed Headteacher at Nessfield Primary School I am looking forward to working with the pupils, staff, parents and governors to ensure we can deliver a good education for our children.

“We know there is more to do but our school community believes our school is on the up and we are committed to working together to continue to improve.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “This is a very encouraging report which shows that real progress is being made in the areas highlighted by Ofsted last year.

“It recognises the steps the Council has taken to strengthen leadership at the school with the appointment on an interim headteacher, two acting deputy heads and an interim executive board.

“Ofsted found that the expertise and knowledge of the interim head Janet Keefe had been a catalyst to improvements in a range of areas which have provided stability and helped to restore parents’ confidence.

“It notes the school has made rapid improvements in safeguarding, recruitment procedures have been improved and initiatives have been set up to improve pupil behaviour and promote British values.

“We are pleased Ofsted praises the work of Bradford Council in acting swiftly to secure leadership and in providing support to the school with safeguarding training, supporting leaders with attendance tracking and staffing.

“The Interim Executive Board has now appointed a new substantive head, deputy head and head of early years which will allow Nessfield Primary School to continue to move forwards and improve.”