NEW leaders at a troubled free school have failed to improve its rating with government inspection body Ofsted.

Parkfield School, which caters for youngsters between the ages of four and 16, has again been graded as Requires Improvement following a two-day visit from an inspection team.

But interim Principal Ian Golding said he is “confident that Parkfield’s future is bright.”

The school recently moved from an office block in Bournemouth to a former air traffic control centre at Bournemouth Airport and interim head Ian Golding pledged to make improvements.

But lead Ofsted inspector Stephen Lee criticised many aspects of the school and said: “The roles, responsibilities and lines of accountability of senior leaders are not clear or well understood by staff.”

The school’s secondary phase came in for the most criticism with the report saying: “Work is not pitched accurately at the appropriate level for pupils and they are not routinely challenged by it, whatever their starting points.

“Many pupils have gaps in their basic literacy which are not being addressed effectively. Rates of absence and persistent absence are too high in the secondary phase.”

It was better news for younger pupils with inspectors noting: “Children get off to a good start to their learning in the early years. Middle leadership in the school’s primary phase is strong. As a result pupils make good progress in the early years and key stages 1 and 2.”

Interim Principal Ian Golding said: “We are pleased that our recent Ofsted inspection recognises that we are making improvements through new leadership, staff and the support of the Interim Academy Board (IAB).

“These improvements have already enabled primary pupils to achieve outcomes that are at or above national expectations. This is particularly evident in our Early Years provision, and was recognised by inspectors.

“Whilst Ofsted has requested improvements in our secondary school, it has acknowledged that some of the issues are of an historical nature and that new measures being implemented in teaching, learning and leadership are already leading to improvement.”

Parkfield School is an all-through co-educational school. Children aged between four and 16 can study at the school. As a free school, Parkfield is funded by the government and is independent from local authority control.