Meadow School in Balsham has been placed into special measures following an Ofsted inspection.
Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education praised the ethos of the school, and the safety, happiness and the behaviour of pupils, but concluded that it required ‘special measures’ because it was failing to provide an acceptable standard of education.
They said there was some good teaching at the school, which has 264 pupils aged four to 11, but added that too much was inadequate and needed improving.
They said the school ‘lacked incisive and informed leadership’, but highlighted that Cambridgeshire County Council and the governing body had identified and were addressing these weaknesses.
“The school is an attractive and well-kept environment for pupils to learn in and play together,” the report reads.
“The effective programme and personal and social development is reflected in pupils’ good behaviour because teachers apply the school behaviour policy consistently well.
“Attendance is above average and this reflects pupils’ positive attitudes about their school.”
Pupils were praised for being polite and considerate to each other and to adults.
Inspectors also said that new pupils were made to feel welcome and settled in quickly.
Inspectors added: “Recent intervention by the local authority, aware of the school’s decline, has galvanised the governing body into taking decisive action to confront school leaders about the seriousness of the situation.
“The local authority representative has already drawn up a detailed and comprehensive action plan, which addresses the majority of weaknesses found in the inspection.”
They said governors had a ‘thorough, detailed and accurate’ view of the school’s weaknesses.
“Its members are anxious to make a difference to school outcomes and to return the school to being a centre of excellence at the core of village life.”
The school is required to improve the quality of teaching and pupils’ progress, improve achievement in the Foundation Stage, and improve leadership and management.
Linton Village College’s (LVC) Teaching School Alliance, CASSA, which works with various schools including Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill, is supporting Meadow School through mentoring the interim headteacher Nichola Connor and supporting the development and improvement of the leadership and management of the school.
Cambridgeshire County Council is supporting the school with a team of specialist education advisers who will focus on improving the teaching, learning and the achievement of the pupils across the whole school.
LVC principal said Caroline Derbyshire: “We are delighted to be able to help one of our partner schools in this way and we expect the improvement in standards to be visible and rapid this year.
“The Meadow has had an outstanding reputation for achievement and creativity over the years and will return very quickly to its former glory.”
Nichola Connor said: “As you can imagine, we are devastated by the results, but we are looking forward and we are committed to ensuring that the necessary changes are made to make the Meadow the school it used to be.
“We are determined to ensure that every child at the Meadow school is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential and leave the Meadow fully prepared for the next stage of their education”.
Clare Gorman, chair of governors added: “Many of the issues raised by Ofsted had already been identified and robust changes and new processes have been put in place to take the Meadow School forward.
“We have every confidence that we will be removed from ‘special measures’ in a very short time.”
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (October 17) Echo.