BEHAVIOUR of pupils at a Bury secondary school ­— which just under a year ago was described as "unacceptably poor" ­— is improving, with children now being described as "polite and respectful".

St Gabriel's RC School is currently in special measures, after being classed as failing by Ofsted last May.

On a recent visit, school inspectors found that "leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures".

The school has undergone a shake-up in staffing, which has included the appointment of a permanent headteacher, Lisa Corrigan.

Inspectors reported: "Senior leaders responded quickly to the concerns raised at the previous inspection about pupils’ poor behaviour. Staff and pupils reported to inspectors that behaviour has improved.

"Pupils spoke positively about the rewards system and said that teachers apply the behaviour policy more consistently than in the past.

"Most pupils want to learn. Inspectors saw very few occurrences of low-level disruption in their visits to lessons. Most pupils behave well at social times. They are polite and respectful to each other and adults."

Improvements were found to have been made in lessons, with pupils telling Ofsted "teaching has improved" and teachers expectations of what pupils are capable of is said to be increasing.

Ofsted reported: "The headteacher, together with her newly formed senior leadership team, are taking determined action to move the school forward. The headteacher has a clear vision and wants to raise pupils’ aspirations and provide them with more opportunities.

Inspectors added: " The headteacher has developed and communicated clear expectations to all staff and pupils. She has not shied away from making difficult leadership decisions in the best interests of pupils. This is evident in the improvement in behaviour and the way staff are held to account for pupils’ learning.

"Staff feel that the school is moving in the right direction. Their morale is high. Staff value the way leaders consider their workload when introducing changes. Pupils are positive about the changes made by the headteacher."

Since October 2019, some pupils in Year 11 have been receiving additional subject support to help them catch up with "lost learning in the past".

Education chiefs at Bury Council suspended the governing body and replaced it with an interim executive board to run the school and the school is to become part of St Theresa of Calcutta's multi-academy trust after the school was ordered to become an academy, following the Ofsted inspection last year.

The school will join the trust in June.

A spokesman for Bury Council said:“We are very pleased that Ofsted have recognised that the school has taken effective action, and that the new head teacher has a clear vision and her finger on the pulse of the school.

“We have provided considerable support to the school, including appointing an Interim Executive Board whose members, as Ofsted says, know the school well; and working with Loreto Teaching School Alliance to secure significant funding for the ‘school to school’ support programme.

“St Gabriel’s is heading strongly in the right direction, which is good news for the young people who attend and will attend the school.”