New Sheffield academy branded inadequate by school inspectors

Southey Green Primary School.
Southey Green Primary School.
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Weak teaching is a key issue at a Sheffield primary school which has been branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors.

Southey Green Primary - which is now part of a trust headed by Tapton School - was under review for the first time since it became an academy early last year.

Too many pupils were not reaching standards of which they were capable in both English and maths by the time they moved on, and progress was especially weak among younger children.

But chief executive headteacher David Bowes said the report provided a very one-dimensional view of the school, and did not fully reflect all that had been achieved over the last three years.

Inspectors said teaching quality was too variable across the school, and until recently had been very weak in Years 1 and 2.

Pupil behaviour needed improvement and children sometimes lost interest when the teaching was not strong.

Checks on the youngsters’ progress were not being carried out as widely as they should be, and their standards in writing had over time been inadequate.

Subject leaders also were not doing enough to check the quality of teaching and learning in their areas of responsibility.

Plus points included good learning by the youngest children thanks to strong teaching, while the pupils’ behaviour, attendance and punctuality had all improved.

The school worked well with parents, while stronger leadership and new staff were beginning to improve teaching.

Mr Bowes said he and the governors were in agreement that standards overall were not yet good enough.

“But despite our SATs results being the best in the school’s history, rising by 14 per cent this year, the inspection focused on the KS1 results dipping,” he said.

“We do not need special measures however, as inspectors are confident the school has the capacity to address the issues identified and make rapid progress.”