Saxton Primary inadequate

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A village primary school has been placed in special measures after a damning report by education watchdog Ofsted.

Saxton Church of England Primary School, near Sherburn in Elmet, was branded “inadequate” in the report, published this week.

Key criticisms in the report, compiled following an inspection in March, include:

Too few pupils reaching the expected standard for their age in writing and maths;

Ineffective levels of safeguarding, with pupils not playing safely in the playground;

Governors lacking “sufficient knowledge and understanding” about aspects of the school’s performance.

Positives from the inspection said that attendance is above the national average and phonics is taught well lower down the school.

The report says the school requires special measures because it is “failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education”.

North Yorkshire County Council yesterday confirmed it was working on a support plan for Saxton, which was rated as “good” in an inspection carried out by Ofsted in 2011.

The council said that the school’s headteacher, Monica Good, was on sick leave when the latest inspection took place.

She remains on sick leave and an acting headteacher, Carole Middleton, has now been appointed. The council yesterday described her as “experienced” with a “strong track record”.

One concerned parent, who asked not to be named, told the Yorkshire Evening Post that there was backing in the community for Saxton’s teachers, with people feeling they had been doing their best in difficult circumstances.

Coun Patrick Mulligan, the council’s executive member for schools, said: “We are taking every step to support the school and to ensure that teaching and learning is of the highest standard and that children enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum.”