Staff at a Woburn Sands academy school have admitted they were “shocked” to receive a damming Ofsted report.
Fulbrook Middle School has slipped from almost outstanding to “requiring improvement” over the past four years,
The newly-published report orders an external review of governance to assess how leadership and management at the school can be improved.
And Her Majesty’s inspectors for education will visit later this term to see how much progress has been made,
The Ofsted inspectors were concerned that Key Stage 2 pupils were not making consistently good progress, particularly in reading and writing.
But they agreed that pupils caught up by Year 8 and performed well. The inspectors criticised the teaching as “variable” and said targets were sometimes unclear at the school, which switched to academy status two years ago.
Pupils, however, were judged to be polite, respectful and well-disciplined.
Head teacher, Stephen Cardwell, blamed the new Ofsted approach and grading system for the plummeting scores, saying they did not fit in with the school’s own progress-tracking system.
He said: “We were shocked by this judgement. As a high performing school we have a track record of very high attainment.
“The school was ranked third out of 135 middle schools nationally for attainment at KS2 in reading, writing and maths in 2012 and 2013.”