A SCHOOL heavily criticised for poor teaching has improved significantly after being placed under special measures, according to a government watchdog.

Ofsted took action nine months ago after it found pupils were not getting the education they deserved at Larkswood Primary School in Chingford, with poor leadership blamed for the failings.

Standards dropped significantly at the school in New Road when it was left without a permanent headteacher in 2011.

Boys, disabled pupils and those from poor backgrounds were deemed to have been most let down.

Ofsted forced the school into making changes with a new headteacher, Lynne Harrowell, and two new senior staff brought in to address the problems.

Following the one of regular inspections under special measures, Ofsted said the school is now improving.

A report said boys are now performing nearly as well as girls, while the gap between children from poorer households and others has closed significantly.

Pupils are now encouraged to participate in lessons and teachers had greater expectations of what children could achieve.

Ofsted inspectors said: "In lessons, pupils work hard and sensibly.

"A particularly impressive feature is the way in which pupils support each other in lessons without prompting by the teacher or teaching assistant.

"Pupils work much harder in lessons and they are provided with more challenge and support."

But the school was criticised for not improving the progress of disabled pupils and those with special needs.

Mrs Harrowell said: "We're delighted overall. "The staff have worked incredibly hard all year and the parents here are amazing. They have given us so much support, it's been overwhelming.

"The children have worked very hard as well, they deserve a lot of credit.

"It's been a hard year for the school with a lot of change but the standards are definitely rising.

"It give us hope of getting out of special measures. We'll have another inspection in the autumn term and will see what happens."

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