A FAILING school is said to have improved in most areas and could be heading out of special measures, inspectors said.

Ofsted chiefs who visited Lowerhouse Junior School said standards were rising and a higher proportion of pupils were now making good or outstanding progress.

In her report, inspector Shirley Gornall said: “The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.”

However the Burnley school still needs to improve by providing more challenging teaching in maths and improving governors’ ability to analyse pupil progress.

But their progress is said to be good and Ms Gornall added: “Gaps in achievement between pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and their peers are reducing.

“This is due to teachers making good use of assessment information when planning lessons, and the school arranging high quality booster and intervention sessions to support pupils, including those who are identified as under-achieving.

“A wide range of extra-curricular clubs and classes boosts pupils’ self-esteem and complements their learning in class. The progress of pupils with special educational needs has accelerated.

“The special educational needs co-ordinator, who joined the school in the autumn term, has lost no time in assessing these pupils’ needs accurately and supporting staff to boost their achievement.”

Pupils’ literacy skills were said to be improving in response to new guided reading and spelling sessions. As a result, the reading skills of lower attaining pupils at the Liverpool Road school are improving.

Mathematical development has improved due to teachers finding ‘real-life’ situations which pupils can explore.

Ms Gornall added: “Pupils do not give up when their work is hard; the school develops their perseverance and resilience well. “Pupils are encouraged to share mistakes and learn from them; this attitude underpins a positive approach to learning.

“The school’s behaviour management system is consistently used across classes. Pupils work hard to be ‘gold’ and value the rewards they can earn.”