PRIMARY school bosses have launched a challenge against education watchdog Ofsted after inspectors placed it in special measures.

Brierfield Walter Street Primary School dropped down two ratings - from good - in 2009 to be placed in the bottom category.

Headteacher Sarah Watson had been in charge at both inspections.

Only a handful of primary schools in the county are in special measures and challenges to inspections are rare.

The school, which was placed into special measures when inspectors visited in November, is making an official representation to Ofsted to dispute some of the findings of the report.

Inspectors said that pupil attainment, their work based skills learning and attendance was inadequate.

But Miss Watson said that the data showed that their pupils' progress was above the national average.

Inspector Marie Cordey said: “Pupils’ attainment has been low for too long. School leaders and the governing body are aware of this but evaluations of the school’s performance are over-generous.

“Weaknesses in teaching have not been tackled successfully. The curriculum is ineffective in its core business of improving pupils’ basic skills in English and mathematics and attendance is stubbornly low.”

The rating was given despite 97 per cent of parents say they are happy with the school and that their children enjoy going there.

Headteacher Sarah Watson said: "Naturally we're disappointed by the report from Ofsted, and we are concerned that the judgement seems to have been based on partial or inaccurate information.

"To give one example: the government use the percentage of pupils making good progress between Year 2 and Year 6 as a measure of success. National averages this summer were 82 per cent in maths and 83 per cent in English, but Walter Street children exceeded both of these, with 91per cent in maths and 95 per cent in English.

"Pupils' achievement is judged both on how well they do in tests and on the progress they make while they're at school. We've worked hard to ensure that our children make good progress and do well in tests, and this is shown by rising test results for all age groups over the past three years.

"I hope we can resolve these issues. In the meantime, we will working hard alongside our advisers to address! the other improvements suggested by Ofsted."