An under-threat York school has been praised for making progress – five months after Ofsted rated it as “inadequate”.
A monitoring inspection of Naburn Primary School found its improvement plan is fit for purpose and school leaders are “taking effective action towards the removal of special measures”.
The school has been struggling for several years due to falling pupil numbers and was told it could be closed if an academy chain sponsor cannot be found to take it over.
Following a monitoring visit in June, an inspector has written to headteacher Jonathan Green to tell him that school remains inadequate – but there were several positive signs in the report.
“You and your governing body have acted purposefully to address the weaknesses in the school from the previous inspection,” the inspector wrote. “You have focused on improving the school’s curriculum and systems for safeguarding pupils.”
However, he said that some staff are not teaching the curriculum as intended and that some pupils were not keeping up.
Safeguarding procedures have also been improved, but due to a recent high turnover of staff there are still some gaps in staff knowledge.
The inspector said the staff leaving and fluctuations in attendance of pupils from the travelling community had disrupted progress.
But “the school community is now more settled and the rate of improvement has accelerated”, he added.
Governors have been praised for the involvement in improving the school.
“Everyone is pulling in the same direction,” the inspector added.
City of York Council is both searching for an academy chain to take the school over, while also consulting on its future if one is not found.
A council spokesperson said they were unable to provide a comment on the latest developments.
Wheldrake ward councillor Christian Vassie, who has been campaigning to save the school, said he was “heartened” that improvements had been noted by the inspector.
“We are not out of the trees but I am sure the whole community is proud of the effort being put into turning the school around by the headteacher, staff, governors and the city council,” he added.
“From a perilous situation four months ago real progress is being made. This has to be a good thing for the children and the whole village, and it is also fantastic that just weeks ago the Year 6 pupils all flew through their key stage two tests, getting the best results across the city.”