The timing of an Ofsted inspection could have played a part in a school slipping a grade, according to its headteacher.
Fakenham Junior School has dropped from being classed as a good school to one that requires improvement in its latest Ofsted report.
Inspectors have told the Queen’s Road school it must improve the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management following a visit in July.
Their report, published on Friday, comes three years after the school was graded as good.
But headteacher Lesley Cook said that if the inspection had been made after the school received its latest SATS (national curriculum test) results, which showed an improvement in performance, the outcome could have been different.
She said: “We are disappointed with the outcome of the report because of the fact that the previous year showed a dip in SATS results, but now we have already started to show improvement in the results.
“Had the inspection been two or three weeks later the results would have shown the improvement and the report might have been a different picture, but that’s just the way it happens.”
Ms Cook said the school had already been aware of the issues raised in the report and had acted onits recommendations.
She added: “We are confident we have a good school and staff and are pleased to have very supportive parents too.”
The report said too many pupils do not make good progress in English and maths and achievement is typically below the national average.
The quality of teaching was also said to vary, and teachers do not always check to see if quieter pupils understand their work, although teaching of reading was praised as “good across the school”.
The report went on: “Senior leaders do not always insist policies about teaching and learning are followed consistently. Sometimes, subject leaders’ judgements about the quality of teaching are too generous.”
But inspectors also praised the behaviour and safety of pupils as good, saying youngsters are polite and friendly, and said pupils attend school regularly.
They also said the school helps parents understand what their children are being taught and organises a wide range of activities to help pupils develop their personal skills.