Fresh start for failing school

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A formerly outstanding school put into special measures could become a voluntary Catholic-sponsored academy.

The Diocese of Hallam has applied to be the sponsor of St John Fisher Catholic Primary School in Hackenthorpe.

It is hoped the move will help support the school to improve after it was told it required special measures by Ofsted – having been rated ‘outstanding’ in 2007.

John Cape, the diocese’s director of primary schools, said the change could come into force from September.

He said: “It has been a real shock for the community.

“There were two key issues in the Ofsted report – the quality of teaching and leadership effectiveness.

“We have a raft of different measures to improve things and I have told parents that this was the start of a recovery.”

Headteacher Frank Barratt, who started at the Spring Water Avenue school in September, has pledged to ‘get the school back where our children and families deserve it to be’.

New staff, development plans and a ‘rebranding’ are in the pipeline.

Sheffield Council said it was working with the diocese ‘to enable the headteacher and governors to make improvements’.