A SKIPTON school is making progress after being placed in special measures earlier this year.

St Stephen's Catholic Primary School, on Gargrave Road, had its first monitoring inspection since being judged as inadequate by Ofsted in February.

But, following a second inspection on June 24, inspector Gina White said: "The local authority plan and the support school leaders are receiving have helped to guide the headteacher and senior staff in taking the first steps to tackle the areas for improvement.

"Leaders have begun to re-establish regular checks on the school’s work. However, these checks are not sufficiently focused on the difference that actions are making to pupils’ learning.

"Extensive programmes of additional support are being rolled out to help pupils who have begun to fall behind to catch-up in literacy and numeracy skills. While this is a useful short-term measure, it is no substitute for good teaching.

"Some pupils, in upper key stage two, are starting to receive more guidance and direction from their teachers to recognise the features of good writing and the standard expected of them, but this practice is not yet consistent across all year groups.

"Pupils’ attendance is starting to improve and the school’s expectations of pupils’ behaviour and attitudes are beginning to be shared and understood by pupils. "

Kate Molloy, chairman of governors, said: "We've made small steps of improvement but we recognise that we have more to do. We're working hard, the children are happy and we're encouraged by some really good key stage two SATs results, which have boosted everybody."

Headteacher Peter Thompson noted year sixes had done well across the board and five children had achieved level six in writing.

"That is a top mark," he said. "They've done very, very well, which is down to a lot of hard work on their part and on the part of staff, who are taking steps to keep helping the children."

Mr Thompson said that a number of improvements in academics, attendance and behaviour had been made since February's Ofsted inspection.

"We're looking forward to continuing to make these improvements for the benefits of the children," he said. "We want to help them to do as well as they can, as it's a real privilege teaching them."

Mr Thompson said attendance in this school year had risen by three per cent on last year and there is an increase in the number of level threes in year two reading, writing and maths.

He also said that phonics scores in year one had more than doubled on scores registered during last year's screening.

"Our staff have great enthusiasm and motivation and we've had great support from the parents," said Mr Thompson.

Mrs Molloy added: "We're starting to see some positive things, but that doesn't take away from the fact that we have a lot to do."