ANOTHER Oxfordshire primary school has been plunged into special measures. Berinsfield Primary School was criticised for low attainment levels in English and maths which go back five years.

The school, which has 283 pupils, failed to meet Government targets last year and has already been told it is likely to be forced to become a sponsored academy to drive up standards.

And in February, Oxfordshire County Council took out the existing governing body and replaced it with its own interim executive board in an attempt to begin rapid change.

Education cabinet member Melinda Tilley said: “We were aware there were problems at Berinsfield and we knew some time ago that the Department for Education had asked it to convert to an academy.

“We are doing everything we can to sort it out as quickly as possible. “Every moment a school is in special measures it is failing children.”

Ofsted inspector Rob Crompton said the school had failed to address the issues identified during its last inspection in 2008.

He said: “The progress of all groups, including those who are disabled, have special educational needs or are more able, has been well below expectations.

“Although the rate of progress has improved a little this year, pupils’ achievement is inadequate.

“The quality of teaching over time is inadequate as it is not sufficiently strong to enable pupils to make the rapid progress required to raise their attainment quickly enough.”

Leaders and managers were criticised for failing to act with sufficient urgency, and the school was told its self-evaluation lacked insightful analysis of teaching quality and its impact on pupils’ achievement.

The school has an above average proportion of children with disabilities or special educational needs, and children generally start with skills and understanding well below those typical of their age group.

Not all aspects of education at the school were criticised. Relationships between teachers and pupils were described as good and lessons calm and orderly.Behaviour and safety were rated satisfactory, and Mr Crompton said pupils were polite and courteous, and showed respect for others.

The school has been told it must raise achievement in English and maths by improving the quality of teaching, rapidly improve strategic leadership and the school’s capacity for sustaining improvement, and to improve attendance to at least average levels by December.

Chairman of governors David Marriott said: “Oxfordshire County Council recognised weaknesses in the school’s governance and replaced the governing body with a smaller interim executive board (IEB) who commissioned a full review of the school.

“A detailed action plan has been agreed which will address the weaknesses identified by both the IEB and Ofsted report.

“We are confident that carrying out the action plan and becoming an academy will transform Berinsfield into a very successful school.”

Headteacher Angela Renshaw, who was in post during the 2008 and 2012 inspections, was unavailable for comment.

Also in special measures are:

  • Cutteslowe Primary School, Oxford
  • Middle Barton School, Chipping Norton
  • The Grange School, Banbury
  • Eynsham Community Primary School
  • Cumnor Primary School, Oxford
  • St Nicholas Primary School, East Challow