A PRIMARY school in South Norwood has been put in special measures just a week before it becomes an academy.
Ryelands Primary School, on Albert Road, was inspected in February and has been rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted inspectors.
The school is to become an academy with Oasis Community Learning on May 1 and is in the process of moving to new premises at the old CALAT site on Sandown Road.
Head teacher Carmel Dolan has decided to move on after 13 years with Ryelands and has already been replaced by Di Morgan, who has been head teacher of Oasis Academy Johanna in Waterloo for three years.
Eugene Gilkes, chair of governors at Ryelands, said Ms Dolan's decision was entirely her own. "Carmel decided to leave because she thought it would be best for the school as we go through that transition period to have someone who knows the processes of Oasis. She picked her own successor.
"She has done a fantastic job and the Ofsted report is an unfair reflection of the progress the school has been making."
The achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management of the school were all rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted.
Its report criticises the leadership and management for not tackling underachievement in Key Stage 2 quickly enough and not addressing the weaknesses in teaching effectively enough to secure rapid improvements.
The level of teaching is criticised for being inadequate and it also states work is often pitched at the wrong level, making it sometimes too easy or too hard for pupils.
Mr Gilkes said he could give a "logical explanation" for every criticism in the report.
"There isn't anything in the report identified by Ofsted we weren't fully aware of and hadn't taken steps to fix anyway," he added.
"We weren't being given enough financial help by the local authority (Croydon Council), so we went to Oasis. Carmel and the governors knew that we needed help and so we went and looked for it before things got worse. It is unfortunate Ofsted came when they did because we had already sought to address the issues."
There was praise for the school's nursery and reception classes as well as the attendance levels of pupils. The report also recognises the staff and governors' determination to help the school get better.