A Formerly 'outstanding' Dorchester school has been placed into special measures.

St Osmund's Church of England Academy has been rated 'inadequate' following an Ofsted inspection last month.

The school was last inspected in 2012 when it was rated outstanding.

The report, published today, said school leaders, including governors, had not ensured that pupils make good progress with progress in mathematics being particularly weak.

The report added pupils' poor progress was a result of "weak teaching and ineffective leadership".

Inspectors found the quality of teaching at the school was not "good enough" and school leaders did not hold teachers to account for their poor performance.

As a result teaching was poorly planned and failed to challenge even the most able students.

The report said additional funding awarded to the school was not used effectively and the pupil premium had not been spent on disadvantaged pupils for whom it is intended.

As a result, disadvantaged pupils were not receiving the help they needed and their progress and attendance remained "significantly below" other pupils in the school.

The report said there was no system in place to manage pupils' behaviour and too often, a few pupils showed defiance to staff and poor behaviour was not always challenged, which meant pupils continued to misbehave.

The school has been advised not to employ newly qualified teachers.

However, inspectors said the new headteacher, Saira Sawtell, who was appointed in September had "brought a fresh pair of eyes to the school and has a clear understanding of what she needs to do."

Ms Sawtell said an action plan was already in place to ensure "rapid change" at the school.

“Progress has already been made in the few weeks since the inspection, with improvements already actioned including a new behaviour policy about to be launched, a focus on teachers’ pedagogy and putting new systems in place to ensure that teaching and learning standards improve rapidly.

"We have also begun strengthening leadership structures, including governors, to give much greater clarity, ownership and precision in whole school improvement. This will lead to immediate changes which will benefit children.

"My staff team see this as an opportunity to propel St Osmund’s into being able to offer a 21st century curriculum and learning experience. We are excited by the journey ahead and look forward to our learning community growing together. I would like to thank parents for their positivity and recognise the influential role that parental partnerships have to play in order to deliver the very best outcomes for children.”

Rev Canon Thomas Woodhouse, chairman of governors said the school’s governing body fully accepted the findings of the report and they were now working to ensure that St Osmund’s became an outstanding school again.

"Under the leadership of the Headteacher we are already making positive changes, including a new behaviour policy, new systems to drive improvement, and a focus on improving how mathematics is taught.

“We are pleased to welcome the support of Thomas Hardye Multi-Academy Trust, who are working with us to help us rapidly address the issues raised by Ofsted,” he said.