THE executive headteacher of a primary school which has gone from good to in need of improvement stressed his staff are 'focussed on continuing to improve the outcomes' of children'.

Cherry Tree Primary School in Farnworth has lost its good rating and has been placed in the 'requires improvement' category following an Ofsted inspection which found that outcomes for pupils are below national figures.

Senior leaders say they are disappointed with the outcome — but are ensuring the areas identified 'improve rapidly'.

School inspectors reported that over time pupils have not achieved well, especially in reading and mathematics.

Ofsted stated: "Too few pupils are currently making rapid progress and reaching the higher levels in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Key Stage Two."

Inspectors added: "Leaders’ actions have not brought about sufficient improvements to the quality of teaching since the last inspection. Teaching is not yet consistently good enough to ensure that pupils make rapid progress in reading, writing and mathematics across the school. As a result, pupils’ outcomes are still below national figures."

But school inspectors said that plans are in place to bring about the improvements in teaching, especially in the two core subjects identified — and the governing body is challenging school leaders more.

But the personal, development, behaviour and welfare of pupils was described as good.

Parents were said to be positive about the quality of education that their children receive with a large majority recommending the school to others.

The early years provision was also marked as good with its 'high-quality learning environment' in which children are 'well-prepared' for their next stage of learning in Year One.

Headteacher Mary Fraser said "We are naturally disappointed with the outcome of the inspection. The school has been working with the local authority through a supportive and collaborative partnership to ensure that areas identified, improve rapidly and we are already making great strides in ensuring this happens.

"We are determined to improve our Key Stage Two results and have already begun work to achieve this.

"We are confident that we will again be identified as a good school.

"We were pleased that some of the strengths of the school were recognised — our early years, the positivity of our parents regarding the quality of education they feel their children receive, behaviour and that we are a caring, safe community were safeguarding is paramount."

Andrew Feeley, executive head, added:"The staff at Cherry Tree are very committed and give 100 per cent to their pupils. We remain focussed on continuing to improve outcomes for every pupil at Cherry Tree."