A school for children with special needs has been closed after being given the lowest possible rating by the education watchdog following its first inspection.

Craig Ormerod Associates School Provision, based on Outwood Road in Radcliffe, caters for children who have experienced difficulties in accessing education in their previous settings.

In a pre-registration inspection report in June last year, regulator Ofsted said the school is "likely to meet all the independent school standards when it opens".

But after an inspection in September, the school has now been rated "inadequate" and Ofsted said it had a "poorly designed" curriculum and a "lack of leadership at all levels".

The school,  which had 17 pupils on its roll at the time of inspection, received scores of "inadequate" for its quality of education, personal development and leadership and management, and "requires improvement" for behaviour and attitudes.

Read more: New 750-pupil high school for Radcliffe crosses final planning hurdle

The Ofsted report stated: “The school has low expectations of what pupils can achieve.

"The curriculum lacks ambition and is narrow. It is not well designed or delivered.

“The curriculum does not meet the academic needs of pupils, and nor does it allow them to study for an appropriate range of qualifications.

“The school does not prepare pupils well for their next steps in education, employment or training.”

The report said the school has "recently engaged with staff to formulate some specific curriculum plans in English and maths".

But Ofsted said staff do not have the "necessary training and expertise to design or deliver the curriculum effectively in these subjects".

Lessons are said to be "delivered in an ad hoc way that doesn’t allow pupils to build on their learning" and the "school’s low expectations are contributing to pupil’s poor achievement".

The report added: “The school has failed to provide for pupils’ wider personal development. Pupils enjoy the limited enrichment opportunities that the school provides.

“For example, the school arranged a one-off visit for pupils to help out at a local food bank. However, these experiences are hit and miss.

“The school does not ensure that pupils have the opportunity to learn all that they should about living in modern society.

“They do not develop an understanding of the diversity of modern Britain. This means that pupils are ill equipped for adulthood.”

Read more: Bury CofE High School told to improve by Ofsted inspectors

In relation to career advice and guidance, the report said pupils are not provided with any programme of careers information or given the information they need to make informed choices about their future careers.

Appropriate risk assessments were seen to not be undertaken to minimise any risks to pupils or staff, Ofsted said. These include the external gates that provide access to the fire assembly points being locked, classrooms located in shipping containers and the electricity supply provided through low-hanging cables that pupils can reach.

It was also reported that there was not sufficient lighting around the premises for staff, pupils and visitors to enter and leave safely in the hours of darkness.

In terms of safeguarding, the report stated there was a “lax culture” of safeguarding in the school.

It said: “Some staff do not understand their roles and responsibilities with regard to safeguarding.

“This includes how to identify, report and escalate concerns about pupils.

“The school has failed to ensure that staff have the training and expertise to provide appropriate support for the school’s pupils.”

Read more: Bury special school rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted

The report also said that the safeguarding arrangements were "ineffective" and pupils were at "potential risk of harm".

Since the inspection was carried out, the school has been closed and students are receiving learning packs to do from home.

One parent of a child who attended the school praised it for the way they treated their child but was confused that it had been closed with no explanation.

They said: “Their provision and the way they’ve been with my child is amazing and the closure is worrying for me.

“I wouldn’t want to send them to another school, because my child has done really well at that school.

“I want them to do well academically but the main thing for me is their mental health, their routine and structure and mixing with people and those kinds of skills."

But a concerned resident said: “This service has failed many children, and my gut feeling is that the service will continue to fail children.

“Considering it’s a service for challenging young people, it doesn’t seem to respond well to their needs or have insight into their needs.

“The school was closed mid-September after it was advised that the school should close with immediate effect.”

Attempts have been made to contact the school to ask for a comment about the report and the closure.