Ripon school in special measures after failing to improve literacy and numeracy

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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Richmond)

A PRIMARY school has been placed in special measures after being judged as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.

Pupils at Ripon Cathedral Church of England Primary School were not achieving in reading, writing and maths, and Ofsted reported that since the last inspection in 2010 the school had not tackled areas for improvement.

The school was judged as inadequate at its recent inspection and has been told it must create a new curriculum that is more challenging and meets the needs of the children.

A new chair of governors has been appointed to steer the school in the right direction after the Ofsted inspector said the previous governing body did not have enough understanding of the school’s weaknesses.

Ofsted inspectors recognised however the head teacher is clear about the improvements that need to be made.

The school is now working closely with the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, and North Yorkshire County Council to take the steps necessary to secure a rapid rise in children’s achievement and improvements to the quality of teaching and learning.

The local authority and diocese are supporting head teacher Darren Dudman to develop a curriculum which promotes a higher standard of literacy and numeracy.

The school has also established a partnership between Ripon Cathedral and St John’s Church of England Primary School in Knaresborough. St John’s has already provided support for other schools.

County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s executive member for schools, said: “We are meeting with all parties to look at best options to address the issues identified by Ofsted.

“The school is very popular and Ofsted acknowledges that children enjoy coming to the school. We must all now work together with some speed to ensure the highest standards are met.”

Richard Noake, the school’s chair of governors, said: “As both chair and a parent of children in the school I am disappointed by this judgement but also determined to work with governors to provide the right balance of support, monitoring and challenge to the leadership and staff of the school and to address all key targets in the Ofsted report.”

Ripon Cathedral is an award-winning school for its outdoor learning and environmental work and has received the Gold Artsmark award.

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