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Sheffield academy chain under fire

Pupils at Parkwood Academy receiving an award for their dancing, with principal Mike Westerdale.

Pupils at Parkwood Academy receiving an award for their dancing, with principal Mike Westerdale.

A national academy chain which runs a Sheffield secondary school has come under fire after the first mass inspection of schools run by a single organisation.

Ofsted found that an overwhelming proportion of pupils attending 16 academies run by the E-ACT Multi-Academy Trust were not receiving a good education.

But Parkwood Academy in Shirecliffe was found to be bucking the trend - it was one of only five out 16 schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

E-ACT runs 34 schools across the country and the 16 inspections were carried out in a coordinated drive over a two-week period.

Inspectors looked not just at the effectiveness of each school, but also looked at the impact of the support and challenge given to them by E-ACT.

The trust has now been told by ministers to give up control of 10 of its schools.

Parkwood’s performance was one of the best in the chain - it improved from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘good’ and its effectiveness had grown significantly since its last check up.

Of the other 15, 11 were failing to provide a good education, with five of those judged to be inadequate.

And 10 academies had failed to improve since their previous inspection, with six having a poorer grade.

 

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