INSPECTORS say that a primary school which was placed into special measures earlier this year is showing signs of improvement.

Elton Community Primary School, which is part of a multi-academy trust sponsored by Bury College, received an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted in May.

Inspectors found that pupils’ progress at the school in Alston Street, Bury, was inadequate in almost all classes across all subjects.

According to the report, most pupils’ reading, writing and mathematics skills were below the expected standard at the school, and disadvantaged pupils, pupils who have special educational needs and disabilities, as well as the most able, were making insufficient progress.

Attendance rates were also below the national average and teaching was described as “weak”, with teachers having low expectations of what pupils can achieve and poor subject knowledge.

Inspectors carried out their first monitoring inspection at the school on 20-21 September and reported that “leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.”

The latest report has also found that the school’s action plan was fit for purpose, but recommended that ‘the school does not seek to appoint newly qualified teachers’.

The inspectors added: “The trust, the governing body and the headteacher have acted promptly and decisively to address the weaknesses identified at the previous inspection. The headteacher has challenged underperformance effectively.

“The headteacher has begun an energetic and determined strategy to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the school.

“Although senior leaders have shown passion and determination to succeed, they recognise there are still areas for improvement that require attention.

“For example, leaders of subjects other than English and mathematics still have an underdeveloped appreciation of the quality of teaching and learning in their subjects.”

“Leaders at all levels agree that progress is still too slow to indicate that their new strategies and actions are having enough impact. Some changes have taken place as recently as September 2017, so not enough time has elapsed to be able to judge that they are effective.”

The report also found that the school’s leaders “have taken steps to improve attendance”, and that there had been a slight improvement in attendance figures.

The school’s current headteacher, Rachel Pars, took over in January, replacing Tony Emmott.

Elton Primary was previously placed in special measures in 2013 when the Department for Education (DfE) said that the school “was failing its pupils”.

The school then became an academy in September 2014 amid a storm of controversy, which included governors being sacked and replaced with an interim board, and parents who were angered by the move setting up a protest group named Save Elton Primary.