Head speaks out after popular Sheffield school put in special measures

Joel Wirth headteacher at Ecclesfield School
Joel Wirth headteacher at Ecclesfield School
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A headteacher today defended his secondary school after it was branded inadequate by inspectors.

Ecclesfield School is so popular it is oversubscribed and ranked 16th out of Sheffield’s 26 secondary schools.

But it has now been downgraded from ‘good’ and placed in special measures by Ofsted.

Headteacher Joel Wirth said everyone at the school was ‘devastated’ with the report and pledged to address the issues raised.

He said: “We have got to keep working hard. We are committed to do the right thing for our community and that has got to be undimmed.

“Parents send their kids here because we understand that being 11 is not preparation for being 16. It’s about being challenged at school academically but also about being happy and nurtured.

“For current parents whose kids attend the school they should know that we haven’t changed overnight.

“An Ofsted inspection is an important thing and we are hugely disappointed, but in many respects parents’ innate sense of what their kids’ school is like is also an important judgement and they shouldn’t let that be taken away.

Mr Wirth added: “Some schools are run on spreadsheets, and if I wanted to do that then I could but I don’t.

“It is a lovely school that cares hugely about the kids it serves.”

n Editor’s view: Page 3

n Special report: Pages 8-9