A CHAFFORD Hundred primary has been told it must improve by Ofsted.

Harris Primary Academy, in Mayflower Road, has been placed in the “requires improvement category” by the education watchdog, which means it must make rapid changes within three years or face being put in special measures.

A report by Ofsted homed in on maths as a particular problem. It said: “Pupils’ achievement in mathematics is not as good as it should be.

“The teaching is not making sure that pupils make consistently good progress throughout the academy.”

Ofsted said that while there is a plan to bring about improvement at the academy, it is “not clear enough about exactly what is to be done and by when, or how much improvement is expected”.

While maths was identified as a weakness, inspectors praised English lessons at the school.

The report said: “The teaching of early reading is systematic.

“This is one reason why more pupils make better progress in English than they do in mathematics.

“Teachers provide the pupils with interesting opportunities to write, and often provide them with a clear list of what they expect them to achieve in lessons.

“They offer them prompts and useful words to help them to improve their work.”

Behaviour at the academy was also praised. The report added: “Pupils are keen to learn and they concentrate well in lessons. Where more-able pupils are set a challenge, they rise to it.

"Pupils listen carefully and are eager to answer their teacher’s questions. Older pupils contribute confidently to discussions.

"Around the academy and on the playground, pupils behave very well.”

The school is keen to point out the “requires improvement” category has replaced the “satisfactory” rating, which the school was given in its last Ofsted report, so standards have not dropped.

Headteacher Michael Lovett said: "One of the main reasons we became an academy last year was that we knew we would need extra support in order to ensure the best possible education for our children.

“The inspection came just a short while after we opened as an academy, and we are already making excellent strides forward.

“Almost all Harris Academies are rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted within three years of opening, and we have every intention of matching this at Chafford Hundred.”