A PREVIOUSLY successful school has been ranked by Ofsted as 'requiring improvement' in its first inspection since becoming an academy.

Stokesley School, which has always enjoyed a good reputation, converted to an academy in 2015, when it was rated as 'good' by inspectors.

The school is part of the Arete Learning Trust, along with Richmond School.

One of the report's key findings was that 'the progress, attainment and attendance of disadvantaged pupils lags behind other pupils in the school and nationally'.

The quality of teaching and learning also needed to improve because it was 'variable across the school', which has 1,167 pupils.

There were also issues with persistent absenteeism, particularly for disadvantaged pupils.

Every area assessed required improvement, except for the sixth form provision which was rated as good.

While leadership needed improvement in terms of governors needing to be more strategic with funding, inspectors said: "The headteacher provides strong leadership that affords a firm ground for the school to improve."

In a letter to parents, seen by The Northern Echo, head teacher Hannah Millett said: "Although a disappointing outcome overall, you will note that the inspection team were clear that we are in a strong position to make any necessary improvements, and the action-planning for this is already well underway.

"Strengths were rightly recognised: particularly around personal development and welfare of all students and the excellent performance of our sixth form. In short, however, the outcome of the inspection is that some aspects of the school require improvement.

"As a result, we must ensure any inconsistencies in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment are quickly ironed out.

"We must also continue the drive to improve attendance as this is having a detrimental impact on some students’ outcomes.

"Finally, we will continue implementing strategies to ensure those students most in need of support receive the highest quality education."