Teaching shortages which have blighted Moray are being held to blame for a primary school receiving a poor report card.
Mortlach Primary School in Dufftown has been warned that it needs to accelerate the speed at which its pupils pick up basic maths and English skills.
However, council education chiefs have said attempts to improve the rural primary have been waylaid by staff shortages which have committed headteacher Sheena MacKinnon to the classroom.
Inspectors first flagged concerns about the Speyside primary after a visit in Februray 2014, noting that children’s pace of learning “needed to be more brisk”.
Education Scotland experts returned to the school earlier this year to assess its progress.
Though they detailed a slew of improvements since their first visit, a report said there “still remains much to be done”.
HM Inspector Louise Turnbull added: “The pace of change has been too slow, we are not yet satisfied with the overall quality of provision.”
An Education Scotland officer will now work alongside Moray Council plot out the school’s improvement and track its progress.
There will be a follow-up inspection in early 2017, at which point parents will be notified of any improvements.
Moray Council’s head of schools and curriculum development, Vivienne Cross, said the local authority recognised that the need to speed up its efforts.
Mrs Cross said: “Mortlach Primary had a large agenda to address following the initial inspection two years ago, and its attempts to deal with that have not been helped by changes in staff and by the fact that the head teacher has been class committed for much of the time.
“The head teacher and her staff are working hard, with the support of officers from the education department, to ensure that the pace of progress is quickened.”
As with much of the north and north-east, shortages of teachers reached critical levels in Moray last year, with the region battling to fill 60 vacancies at the start of the school term.