ONE of Salisbury’s largest primary schools has been told it must improve by education chiefs.

St Mark’s Junior School in Somerset Road was given an overall rating of “requires improvement” by Ofsted inspectors who highlighted that the “quality of teaching is not consistently good” which has led to “stalling in the rates of progress”.

Inspectors added: “Leaders have not taken effective action to ensure that pupils make good progress by the time they leave Year 6. This has led to declining outcomes since the school opened as an academy in January 2015.”

The report also said until recently, leaders had not used assessment information well enough to improve teaching and learning.

However, inspectors did highlight the positive impact of the new leadership team, saying the newly-appointed deputy head teacher was “effective” and “already improving” systems and processes. They said that recent appointments in September were starting to “impact well on teaching and learning” and that teachers were now taking firm account of pupils’ prior attainment to check their progress.

Inspectors also noted there had also been strong improvements to behaviour and safeguarding was effective.

The report, however, revealed that the school’s performance in pupils’ progress had fallen into at least the lowest 20 per cent of schools nationally.

Head teacher Gareth Flemington said: “The inspection report highlighted some real positives such as children are well supported to feel happy and safe.

“However, we fully accept that we must improve further as a school. In particular, we must ensure greater consistency and improve outcomes for all children.

“It is never easy or palatable to receive such a report on behalf of the school we treasure.

"I do feel the tone and some parts of the report do not accurately capture our school. Yet, we fully accept this judgement.

“It makes us even more determined to improve results to reflect the brilliant children and fully committed staff at St Mark’s.”

The school has also implemented a new improvement plan which the school hopes will produce well-rounded learners.

Mr Flemington added: “We are reviewing closely a measured approach to address the areas of concern, without narrowing or diluting opportunities. To solely focus on core areas, at the expense of producing well-rounded learners, would be a shame. Getting the balance right will be essential. Indeed, many of the changes in place since September have been recognised by Ofsted being the correct ones to achieve this goal.”