A MULTI-MILLION pound primary school which open-ed 16 months ago has been placed only one category above special measures by inspectors.

The 230-pupil Dewstow Primary School in Caldicot, formed when Green Lane Juniors and West End Infant schools merged, at a cost of around £7m, was criticised after Estyn inspectors found that the writing skills of most pupils were under-dev-eloped; pupils’ Welsh second language skills were limited; and teachers’ expectations of pupils were often too low.

“This school is in need of significant improvement,” said the report.

Despite “ample resources”, both performance and prospects for improvement were described as “adequate”, as opposed to “unsatisfactory”, “good” or “excellent”.

But inspectors said it was too early to evaluate many aspects of the newly-created school, including the impact of the recently-formed senior management team.

The report continued: “The school will draw up an action plan which shows how it is going to address the recommendations.

“Estyn will monitor the school’s progress about 12 months after the publication of this report.”

The significant improvement category is one of five available to inspectors, ranging from excellent practice case study (the best), to local authority monitoring, Estyn monitoring, significant improvement, or special measures (the worst).

A spokesman for Monmouthshire council said: “We will be working to ensure that the action points they raise are acted upon.”