A SCHOOL, whose headteacher, Bob Knight, died suddenly last May, has been rapped for failing to maintain its previous high standards.

Schools watchdog Ofsted made the remarks in a report after a surprise inspection at Darlinghurst School, on Pavilion Drive, Leigh, last month.

It accused leaders and managers of the school of not taking “effective action to maintain the high standards of behaviour and attitudes identified at the academy’s previous inspection” in 2009.

Ofsted said while attendance had improved since last September, Darlinghurst’s figures still placed it in the lowest 20 per cent of schools nationally, and staff did not act swiftly enough to work with families of pupils with low attendance.

The report did, however, praise the school’s attempts to increase incentives to attend school – such as issuing “fast passes” to the front of the lunch queue to pupils with 100 per cent attendance.

Teachers were also criticised for failing to implement the school’s behaviour policies consistently.

Richard Spence, former headteacher of Chalkwell Hall Juniors, who came out of retirement to become temporary executive principal of the school for three days a week in September, said: “The plan is to monitor behaviour and chase up parents of pupils with a 95 per cent attendance rate more rigorously.”

New principal Nicky Patrick, who currently runs Burnham-on- Crouch Primary, will take over in April, at the beginning of the summer term.