A SCHOOL has been placed in special measures after inspectors said children are at risk and graded it as 'inadequate'.

Pupil safety, leadership, behaviour, teaching quality and the curriculum are among the many problems identified at Pamphill CofE First School in Wimborne.

A two-day visit by Ofsted inspector Jen Southall uncovered a catalogue of issues including failings in the safeguarding of pupils.

In a report just published, she said recruitment checks for new staff are not completed properly to ensure the risk to pupils is minimised.

And she added: "Not all staff are confident in the action to take should they have any concerns about the safety of a pupil. This puts pupils at risk."

Head teacher Trevor Davies was absent at the time of the inspection and is still away from school. No reason has been given for his absence.

Ms Southall criticised every aspect of the school's work and said major changes are needed. And she went on: "Leadership and management of this school is inadequate. Leaders have failed to ensure that pupils receive a high-quality education.

"Significant breaches in safeguarding practice puts pupils at risk. Governors have failed in their statutory duties and have failed to take rapid action to overcome known safety issues."

She said middle leadership is weak, early years provision is inadequate and that teaching is poor.

"Outcomes are not good enough, especially in English and maths," she said. "The curriculum is weak. When activities do not meet pupils' needs they become restless and do not behave as well as they should. Too many pupils do not take pride in their written work."

The school has 62 pupils between the ages of five and nine.

It has been receiving support from the Wimborne Teaching School, part of the Wimborne Academy Trust, for the last three months.

The Ofsted report recognised that staff show a willingness to provide a high quality of education.

It also said relationships between staff and pupils are strong and that pupils are happy to go to school.

A spokeswoman for the school said: "We are disappointed that Pamphill First School has been judged inadequate and pledge to turn things around as a matter of urgency."

She said the governing body had already begun to address many of the issues highlighted in the report, as acknowledged in the Ofsted report.

"We are delighted that this partnership with Wimborne Teaching School will continue for the remainder of this term and into the next academic year. We welcome this support and the extra monitoring and testing that comes with being placed in special measures."

Parents will be invited to a meeting to be informed about arrangements that have been made for the school.

"Our children’s future and their well-being is the top priority and we will endeavour to turn things around as quickly as possible to ensure each and every one of our pupils reaches their full potential."