A PRIMARY school that has been rated ‘requires improvement’ for the past six years has been told it needs to pick up the pace of its improvement to ensure children are meeting and exceeding the expected standards of learning.

Knowleswood Primary School, in Knowles Lane, Holme Wood, has been inspected three times in the past six years, and received a ‘requires improvement’ rating each time.

Following a recent monitoring visit by Ofsted, it was told it needs to improve teaching at the school at a faster rate, and is currently not doing enough to tackle issues stopping the school from becoming ‘Good’.

Particular areas of worry identified by Ofsted were the poor attendance of pupils, and the proportion of children not reaching the required levels in reading, writing and maths.

Inspectors said the school needs to “urgently improve the attendance of all pupils and further reduce the proportion of pupils who are persistently absent”, and “increase the proportion of pupils achieving the expected and higher standards by the end of Year 6”.

Following the visit, inspectors said: “Over time, the pace of improvement has been too slow.

“Instability at leadership level and the frequent changes of staff have compounded this issue.

“Significant aspects of the school’s work have not moved forward swiftly enough. Systems to assess pupils’ progress have been ineffective.

“Leaders have not measured or evaluated accurately the school’s performance against national outcomes.

“As a result, assessment information has not been used effectively to identify pupils who underachieve and to put support in place for those who need it.

“Consequently, the attainment of pupils at the end of Key Stage 2 remains below the national average.

“Provisional data indicates that the progress pupils make across KS2 from their starting points is average in writing and mathematics and well below average in reading.”

A new executive headteacher, head of school, and two assistant headteachers were appointed in September, and inspectors praised the new leadership team for their swift work to try and address the issues at the school.

It said: “You have acted swiftly and reviewed all areas of the school, correctly identifying strengths and areas for improvement.

“The leadership team are fully committed to rapidly improving outcomes for all pupils.

“You are managing changes effectively to eradicate weak teaching. You have been a catalyst for some recent and rapid developments.

“Together with senior leaders, you are passionate in your drive for continuous improvement.”

Councillor Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, said: “It’s important improvement at Knowleswood happens as quickly as possible so the children who attend get the best education they can.

“The recent Ofsted report acknowledges changes in leadership are making this happen. We’re pleased the report recognises the Council is providing support which is focused.

“There’s more to do, but we hope that the changes now in place will deliver the rapid improvements needed.”