A SCHOOL that’s in the ‘early stages’ of improvement has been judged as having serious weaknesses - but leaders are confident they can turn things around.

Staff at Dodworth St John the Baptist Primary Academy say the timing of its latest Ofsted inspection and Covid’s impact on plans for school development have played a part in the verdict, which sees the school drop into the lowest inspection category after previously being rated as requiring improvement.

While inspectors note behaviour issues and gaps in learning for certain subjects, they praise the school’s focus on reading, staff wellbeing and pupils’ ‘friendly and welcoming’ nature.

Headteacher Paddy Wright said: “The areas we have been asked to focus on for improvement were all within our school development plans for this year.

“Given the timing of our inspection, and the challenges to school improvement due to the restrictions of the pandemic, many of these plans were in the early stages of implementation - something again the inspectors have recognised.

“As a school we take this outcome extremely seriously and are confident that we can meet the required improvements to restore a judgement we would all expect.”