MISTLEY Norman Primary School has been placed in special measures after “losing direction”.

The school has gone from a good Ofsted rating in 2011 to being graded as inadequate.

The report criticised the headteacher and governors for not showing they have the capacity to bring about sustained improvement.

It branded the curriculum, achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership as inadequate.

Steve Burnup was head at the time of the inspection. Amanda Woolmer is interim head.

The report also criticised the lack of help given by Essex County Council, saying: “At its previous inspection, the school was judged to be a good school.

“As a consequence, the local authority has provided light touch support. The decline in the school’s performance was not identified quickly enough and not enough help has been provided to bring rapid improvement.”

In a statement released by the school, staff and governors spoke of their disappointment at the report.

But they added a number of strengths were also identified including pupils’ enjoyment of the school, behaviour and good relationship with staff.

A county council spokesman said: “It is always disappointing when a school is judged to be inadequate.

"There is a comprehensive support strategy in place, including a full-time, interim headteacher and an executive headteacher overseeing improvements. We are confident the school will improve quickly.”