A HEADTEACHER has hit back at Ofsted inspectors after her school was told it needed improvement.

Hadleigh Infant and Nursery School was visited in January, and was criticised for the lack of achievement of its pupils and the quality of its teaching as well as the leadership and management at the academy.

However, the school strongly refutes the rating and headteacher Brenda Dalley says the conduct of the inspection team did not impress her or her staff.

Inspectors added the behaviour and safety of pupils was “good”.

Mrs Dalley, headteacher at the school, in Bilton Road, for the past seven years, said she and the students were “very down” following the results of the inspection.

She said: “Although these inspections should be rigorous and challenging they should also be supportive and help the school move forward. We didn’t find it supportive in the slightest.”

Mrs Dalley has written to Ofsted and a number of the parents are also believed to have sent letters to the watchdog.

She added: “We felt contacting Ofsted was the right way to go. The mood around the school was quite down after we saw what the report had to say, but the parents and staff have been fantastic.

“Everyone was disappointed and we aim to get to the bottom of it.”

The inspectors criticised the way the school was led, said the quality of teaching was not good, that pupils’ progress in lessons was not quick enough to merit good achievement. It also criticised middle managers, who were not effective in leading in areas for which they are responsible.

Lead inspector Robert Lovett did praise the school, adding: “The school has a strong ethos of care, nurture and support so that pupils are confident learners and feel safe and happy in school” and “Pupils’ behaviour is good. Pupils have positive attitudes to learning and are keen to do well.”

A statement released by the school said: “Hadleigh Infants and Nursery School was very disappointed with the outcome of its recent Ofsted inspection.

“Our staff, parents and governors are overwhelmingly supportive and together we will work together towards a speedy resolution to the situation.”