MINEHEAD First School has received a damning Ofsted report recommending the failing school is put in special measures.

The primary school on Townsend Road was visited by inspectors over two days in April with the report published this week.

The inspectors rated the school as 'inadequate' for the effectiveness of leadership, quality of teaching, personal development and behaviour, and outcomes for pupils, while the school's early years' provision was rated as 'requiring improvement'.

This was the school's first inspection since becoming part of the West Somerset Academies Trust in 2016.

Among the findings were that 'Expectations are too low across the school', 'assessment is weak' and 'too many pupils do not attend school regularly'.

In the report it states: "Lessons frequently do not challenge pupils to acquire new knowledge and skills.

"In mathematics, pupils do not learn successfully to use their number skills to reason or solve problems.

"In addition, pupils’ misconceptions are sometimes not noticed during lessons and this leads to pupils continuing with their mistakes.

"For example, in writing, pupils continue to mis-spell words or to write letters incorrectly without being shown how to do this properly."

The inspector observed that changes of staff and disturbances to some lessons because of poor behaviour for pupils in key stage 2.

The report also highlights concerns over the way bullying is dealt with the school.

"Pupils feel certain that staff resolve these issues. However, leaders do not ensure that incidents of bullying are recorded and that patterns are identified," it says in the report.

It also emphasises that attendance remained 'stubbornly low', and 'incidents of poor behaviour have increased over time'.

The school was praised for its safeguarding, and making steps to address the issues raised.

It says in the report that "Staff, parents and carers, and pupils speak positively about changes. They are confident that staff take good care of them, and they know who to talk to if they have concerns."

Ofsted also noted that recent changes were helping children understand expectations of behaviour: "The recent re-launch of behaviour expectations is providing better guidance to pupils on how to behave in school."

Adam Evans (who had only been headteacher for 48 hours before the inspection) stated: "Obviously the school is disappointed with the outcome of the inspection but our focus now needs to be on about rapid improvement of the school ensuring that the children of Minehead First School receive the high quality education that they deserve in a safe environment where all children are supported to reach their potential."

Paul Rushforth, CEO of the West Somerset Academies Trust, added: “We recognised the issues in the school and already had a plan in place to tackle them when the inspection took place.

"The inspection provides further impetus to ensure that rapid and sustained improvement occurs.

"I am certain that parents will have already noticed the renewed sense of ambition in the school.”