SIDEMOOR First School remains in special measures after a monitoring inspection by Ofsted found leaders had not responded quickly enough to concerns raised last year.

The Perryfields Road school was rated inadequate last July, after inspectors found the quality of teaching to be 'weak' and some pupils to be making 'no progress'.

Following the first monitoring visit by Ofsted last month, inspectors found Sidemoor First's improvement plan to be 'not fit for purpose', and have temporarily stopped the school from appointing newly-qualified teachers.

A follow-up report described a 'lack of urgency' at the school, which resulted in the pace of improvement being 'too slow', and identified weaknesses in leadership, teaching and pupils' outcomes.

The report said plans for improvements had only recently been shared with staff, while a full review into the school's use of pupil premium funding was not carried out until 10 months after the last inspection.

Inspectors found no coherent plan for improving teaching standards, and leaders had not made thorough enough checks on classes, meaning teachers were not receiving the support they needed and lessons were often too difficult for children.

Disabled and special needs students continued to make less progress than their peers and were not receiving the support to catch up, inspectors said.

The report went on to say that, too often, teachers were not addressing errors in pupils' spelling, punctuation and grammar, although standards in handwriting and presentation were found to be improving and a new approach to teaching mathematics was having a positive impact on some students' work.

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Ofsted said middle leaders were determined to bring about improvements at the school and a core group of committed governors had benefited from a range of training.

Attendance was still above the national average, although not for disadvantaged children, and support from Worcestershire County Council had been beneficial, namely staff training, coaching from a new interim headteacher and regular meetings with leaders.

Kevin Medway, who has been interim acting headteacher for Sidemoor First School since last month, said: "We had an Ofsted monitoring visit in the second week of our new term after being placed in special measures by Ofsted last year.

"Whilst the results of this were not as positive as we had hoped, we have had an encouraging start to the new school year with improved communication across the whole school and with parents.

"The report also recognises the determination from staff to bring about improvements at the school.

"Our staff remain fully committed to providing the best opportunities for all children at the school and we are focused on ensuring learning is at the heart of all that we do."

An investigation into a data submission issue at Sidemoor First, which resulted in the head and deputy head teachers being asked to 'take time away' from the school in July this year, is said to be ongoing.