OFSTED has branded a Bury primary school as 'requiring improvement' after it dropped marks in its most recent inspection.

St Stephen's Church of England Primary School dropped from the ‘good’ overall rating it obtained in a previous inspection.

The latest report shows the school is failing in four of the five areas of inspection, but is rated ‘good’ in one other, leaving its overall rating at ‘requires improvement’.

The school, in Colville Drive, was told it ‘requires improvement’ for its leadership, its teaching quality, early years provision, and its pupil outcomes.

However, the development, behaviour and welfare of pupils at the school was found to be ‘good’.

St Stephen's was last inspected in September 2013 and was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors.

However, the inspection in July found "pupils' attainment and progress has declined, especially at the end of key stage one".

The report also found outcomes for pupils at the end of year two and year six have remained below the national average for the past three years, particularly in writing, and that 'teachers do not expect enough from pupils in terms of their written work'.

It was also reported that leaders at the school have not ensured teachers have the knowledge to deepen pupils’ understanding and skills in subjects other than English and mathematics.

However, inspectors did praise the school's leaders for 'successfully steering the school in the right direction to bring about much-needed stability and improvement'.

Sally Denney, deputy headteacher at St Stephen's, said: "The areas for development had been identified by leaders and governors prior to the inspection and appropriate actions to address them were already underway.

"As Ofsted has confirmed, we are bringing about necessary improvement. The decline was halted in 2016 and since that time the number of children achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths has doubled and we have moved nine places up the local authority rankings.

"We have great aspirations for the futures of our children and our school. We continually strive to improve and grow so that all children at St Stephen’s receive the highest quality education and achieve the best possible outcomes to equip them for the next stage of their learning journeys."