A SCHOOL has been put into ‘special measures’ after inspectors found poor achievement in English and Maths following high staff absences.

Accrington’s St John with St Augustine CE Primary was found to be ‘inadequate’ in all areas except children’s behaviour and safety.

An Ofsted report said not enough children were leaving with adequate standards in English and Maths. Only about two-thirds of Year Six pupils were said to be on track to achieve the expected level in reading and writing in their statutory English tests.

The school was given the lowest ratings for overall effectiveness, pupil achievement, teaching and leadership.

Ofsted inspector Andrée Keddle’s report said the school was failing to give pupils ‘an acceptable standard of education’ following a ‘significant amount of teacher absence’ Mr Keddle said: “The persons responsible for leading the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.

As the result of weak teaching over time, pupils make inadequate progress. Staff absence and several different teachers covering classes have further contributed.

“The local authority has very recently worked closely with the school and although this is making a difference in some lessons, it has yet to show sustained impact. Occasionally teaching is good, the pace of learning is brisk and most pupils understand clearly what they have to do to be successful.”

The only category to receive an ‘adequate’ rating was behaviour and safety.

Headteacher Geoffrey Garlick, said: “We’re disappointed, but we must accept the inspectors’ judgement. With the support of the county council we have already produced an action plan and I am confident those measures will have a real impact.

“We are working hard to provide our children with the high quality education they deserve.”

Schools which have been found to be failing are at risk of being turned into academies under new Government policy.