New Sheffield academy will be a family affair

The City School, Sheffield.
The City School, Sheffield.
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A Sheffield comprehensive is to be converted into an academy - and will be the first in the city to be teamed up with a school from another local authority.

The City School at Stradbroke was told to leave council control after inspectors last year decided it was failing its 1,200 students.

It will join a chain of eight academies sponsored by Outwood Grange, a school in Wakefield which changed its status in 2009.

Outwood also has a secondary in Doncaster as part of its ‘family’.

City is due to become an academy in January next year following a consultation process with parents, staff and other interest groups.

Acting headteacher Steve Roberts said the governors had agreed to the changes.

“This has happened as part of the special measures process and we feel City and Outwood will make a good marriage,” he said.

“We anticipate that a number of changes will be introduced once the sponsorship is formally concluded.”

Ten years ago Outwood was struggling but over a two-year period doubled its GCSE pass rate with help from a new curriculum and targeted help for under-performing pupils.

Its GCSE pass rate last year at five A* to C grades including English and maths was 83 per cent and its Ofsted rating is outstanding.

This term it has introduced a new school day, beginning at 8.25am and finishing at 2.30pm.

The partnership is backed by Sheffield Council which believes the move will give City School the best possible facilities.

An Outwood spokesman said: “We believe we have the capacity and the experience to inspire students and staff at City and bring about rapid and sustained improvement for the benefit of the local authority and community.

“We also pride ourselves in meeting the needs of all children, including those who are the most vulnerable and challenging. These students are a major priority and we work closely with parents.”