LEADERS of a Newton Abbot school say they are ‘disappointed and confused’ after Ofsted inspectors declared it ‘requires improvement’.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School underwent an inspection in December but the rating remained the same as its previous visit.

In a letter to parents, Kevin Butlin, director of education of the Plymouth Cast multi-academy trust, of which the school is part, said: ‘We do not agree with the outcome of the inspection, nor with many of its findings.

‘We also have some concerns about the way in which the inspection was conducted.

‘These concerns, and those raised by staff, are being shared with Ofsted through the appropriate processes.’

He said the Ofsted report stated pupils are ‘proud’ of the school, are happy, feel safe and that parents and carers appreciate the close relationships staff build with their children.

The trust and staff are ambitious for pupils to succeed.

The letter, also signed by two other trust heads, said: ‘Many other areas of the report are very positive. ‘However, some are more difficult to read.

‘Given the recent journey of the school and the current quality of good provision, we are sure you will share our disappointment and confusion when you read it through.

‘We are confident that the school team, children and parents will continue to work together positively and effectively to further improve St Joseph’s - and to ensure it is recognised as the good school it is.’

Behaviour and attitudes of pupils at the Coombeshead Road school were scored as ‘Good’, but the remaining four areas Ofsted deemed required improvement.

The report says the ‘quality of education does not always match this ambition’.

Catering for 95 pupils between the ages of four and 11, St Joseph’s received praise for the opportunities it offers its children to ‘take part in a range of roles’ and how they benefit from a ‘wide range of experiences’ such as visits to Newton Abbot Museum, for example.The school’s reading curriculum is well established Ofsted found, with pupils having access to a wide range of books.

Elsewhere, the school is described as ‘calm’, with pupils having ‘positive attitudes to learning’, but they have a ‘limited understanding of fundamental British values’.