THE head teacher of an Ilkley primary school judged to require improvement after a recent Ofsted inspection says the report reflects the challenges the school has faced over the last two years.

Ben Rhydding Primary School has slipped from its previous 'good' rating awarded in 2012 after inspectors found the school required improvements to be made in the following areas: effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment and outcomes for pupils. It was judged to be good in the areas of personal development, behaviour and welfare and early years provision.

Ofsted inspectors found too few pupils are making rapid progress and reaching the higher levels they are capable of in writing and mathematics and some teachers' expectations of what pupils can achieve has not been high enough.

Inspectors found some teaching has not been strong enough and middle leaders, new to their roles, have not had the time to impact of the quality of teaching. They further found the most able pupils are not always challenged enough to deepen and extend their learning.

Among the strengths of the school singled out by inspectors was the role of the head teacher who has brought about significant improvements in pupils' behaviour and the work of governors which was found to be effective. Disadvantaged pupils who have special education needs and/or disabilities make good gains in learning and leaders are successfully promoting pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding.

Ben Rhydding Primary School head teacher Glen Hartford said: "This report reflects the challenges the school has faced over the past two years but it also clearly recognises that Ben Rhydding Primary is now seeing significant improvements.

"I would like to reassure parents that everyone at the school is committed to ensuring that their children receive a good education.

"The governors and I are pleased that Ofsted has recognised that we are a self-improving school, with strong leadership and governance now having an impact on performance. Inspectors also found the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils and our early years provision to be good.

"The Ofsted report says 'The new headteacher is successfully driving school improvement, leading to higher quality teaching and learning. He has taken urgent steps to ensure that pupils are safe within the school and has brought about significant improvements in pupils’ behaviour in a very short time. The headteacher has demonstrated strong leadership and taken robust action to improve the quality of teaching.'

"We are determined to ensure that the improvements we have seen in teaching, learning and pupil behaviour will continue and we believe that in time this will be reflected in the school’s results and ensure Ben Rhydding pupils get the best possible education."