BURY North MP James Frith has vowed to call a meeting of headteachers to discuss the “slipping of standards” in the borough’s secondary schools.

The intervention comes as St Gabriel’s RC High School became the latest school in Bury to be placed into special measures by Ofsted.

The school, which was rated "outstanding" by the education watchdog when it was last inspected in 2011, was found to be "failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education".

Inspectors also found that pupil behaviour had created a culture which at times can be "intimidating" and that some pupils "openly defy staff".

The school is the second in the borough to move from outstanding to failing in recent years after St Monica's RC High School in Prestwich was placed into special measures last year.

Meanwhile, Woodhey High School was also told it required improvement by Ofsted last year.

And, when the annual secondary school league tables were released by the department for education back in January, two Bury schools ­— Tottington High School and Broad Oak Sports College ­— were found to be underperforming with pupils making well below average progress

Mr Frith, who is a member of the government’s education select committee, said the current state of the borough’s schools was of concern to him “not just as an MP but as a parent”.

Mr Frith added: “There is no doubt severe funding pressures on schools and local authorities, the rise in child poverty and social, emotional and mental health issues among young people ­— and a lack of resource to address this ­— are all contributing to the crisis, but we cannot simply put this falling behind at the door of external pressures."

Mr Frith added that "challenges in education leadership" at Bury Council had made matters worse for schools and needed "urgently addressing".

Earlier this year, the council's education chief, Paul Delbridge-Smith, left his position after just eight months in the role. A search for a successor has been launched and the council hopes to appoint a replacement by September.

Mr Frith added: “Bury Council has recognised the need to get a grip on the issues so I expect to see an explicit and renewed focus on schools in the coming months. The majority of headteachers I meet are passionate about improving outcomes for all our children and young people, but we are only as good as our weakest schools.

“My hope is that this is a shot in the arm for all involved and I will continue to play my part to challenge every aspect of the system nationally and locally to step up and ensure our schools are delivering the high quality education all our children and young people deserve.

“I’ll be asking the local authority and secondary heads to meet with me in the coming weeks to discuss this further and ensure we’ve a collaborative and constructive way forward.”