A SCHOOL whose former pupils include Sir Clive Woodward, ex-Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester and Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake has been placed in special measures.

Ofsted has concluded Easingwold School has not improved at the required pace since inspectors rated it as "requires improvement" in 2012 and 2014.

North Yorkshire County Council said the secondary school, which has about 1,100 pupils, had made progress in a number of areas, but the attainment gap for disadvantaged students in particular, remained too wide and maths teaching too weak.

The authority said it was working with school governors to put in place an action plan for rapid improvement, including introducing two additional governors, both ex-headteachers.

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It added it was supporting the school's transition to becoming an academy, which is a mandatory move after a school is placed in special measures and was working with the Department for Education to find a sponsor for the school as part of a multi-academy trust.

The council has secured Rob Pritchard, head of St John Fisher Roman Catholic High School in Harrogate, which has been rated by Ofsted as "outstanding", to take up the post of executive headteacher to work with Easingwold’s senior leadership.

Councillor Arthur Barker, the council's school's boss, said: "This is a very difficult time for the school community. This judgement cannot take away from the fact that many students achieve well and are very happy at Easingwold - indeed Ofsted confirmed that the personal development and welfare of students is a strength.

"However, we accept fully that the school needs to go through a fundamental review, particularly in relation to support for disadvantaged students. “We are totally committed to getting Easingwold back on track and will also work with the regional schools commissioner to bring about academy status.

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"All children and young people in North Yorkshire deserve the highest standards in teaching and learning to give them the best start in their future lives and we will do everything possible in the months ahead to support the school to bring about rapid and urgent improvement.”

Neil Hawkins, the school’s new chair of governors, said the governing body would “continue to work tirelessly to improve this situation rapidly such that all students will receive the education they deserve“.

He said the governing body needed “to understand why the school has not improved quickly enough and what actions are now required to accelerate progress".

Mr Hawkins added: “In order for the school to improve we need the support of everyone, our pupils, teachers, support staff, parents, carers and governors. We are confident however, that these new arrangements will result in a rapid improvement.”