A team brought in to turn around an inadequate school who were supposed to be in post until next year have left already – sparking fears among parents that the move could “make a bad situation worse”.

The Downley School was last inspected 15 years ago, when it was rated ‘outstanding’ – but after an inspection on March 22 and 23, it has been downgraded to ‘inadequate’ and put in special measures, with Ofsted inspectors saying the school had “lost its way”.

Furious parents said the inadequate rating was sad but not a surprise, slamming a string of failings over the years that led to that point.

But there was a glimmer of hope that the Faulkner Way school’s fortunes could be turned around when a new team were put in place in May to try and bring it back to a good place.

Sarah Morgan, the head teacher at the successful Danesfield School in Marlow, was approached by Buckinghamshire Council to support The Downley School as well as executive head.

Parents say they were told Sarah and her team would be in place until July next year to help stabilise the school amid a period of turbulence – but a letter sent on July 18 revealed they would be finishing their support at the end of this term instead.

It has left worried parents with questions about where the school goes from here.

In a letter to Buckinghamshire Council, parent Heena Howitt said: “I write to seek your reassurance that the children at the Downley School will not be failed once again.

“Why is Mrs Morgan and the team from Danesfield leaving already when we were informed at the Parents Forum meeting that they will be in place until July next year to help the transition to an Academy School?

“I am incredibly upset and concerned that my daughter due to start in year 4 is being failed by the local authority. Given the proximity to the summer holidays it will be impossible to seek a transfer to another school at such a late date.

“What can you do to fix this and reassure that things will improve?”

Another parent said the school is “in a mess”, adding: “An interim team were put in place in May who are now also leaving along with many of the teachers.

“The LEA and Department of Education seem intent on making a bad situation worse. All at the expense of the children’s education, some of which won't recover from the situation education wise.

“Nobody is being held accountable for what has happened.”

A Buckinghamshire Council spokesman said: “We want to reassure the school community that the council has and continues to fully support The Downley School to make the improvements recommended by Ofsted.

“Our focus is on ensuring that pupils receive a good education in a safe and nurturing environment.

“We recognise the incredible improvements that the interim team have already made to the school and fully appreciate and understand that it was not possible for them to continue their work into the next term.

“The council has now brought in a highly experienced school leadership team with a track record of strong, proven school improvement.

“Parents can be assured that The Downley School will have a full teaching staff team at the start of the new autumn term and that there will be opportunities to meet with them in September.”