School is on right track

Springs Academy Sheffield
Springs Academy Sheffield
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A Sheffield secondary school is moving in the right direction after being taken off the failing list –but inspectors say there is still plenty of work to do.

Sheffield Springs Academy at Arbourthorne was put in special measures two years ago after being criticised for poor exam results and lack of progress by pupils.

A new inspection found senior staff and governors had successfully tackled a culture of negativity and failure at the school, and had instilled a more positive ethos.

But Springs still requires improvement in all categories, with not enough pupils making expected progress in English and maths.

The school was now found to have stable staffing and teachers shared a commitment to sustain improvements and become a good centre of education.

Staff were well trained to keep students safe and secure, and there was good support for vulnerable youngsters.

Younger pupils were doing well in a range of subjects including English and maths, but a recent rapid improvement in teaching quality had not been enough to overcome the extensive underachievement of the past.

Inspectors highlighted a number of other areas which needed attention.

Disadvantaged pupils were narrowing the gap on the other children but the picture was not yet consistent across different subjects and age groups.

A minority of teaching was still not strong enough to deliver good progress, while the sixth form curriculum was too narrow.

Not all students showed positive attitudes to learning and there remained a small amount of low level disruption in classes.

Attendance levels were rising but were still below the national average.

Executive principal Russell Heritage said there were still key areas to improve.

“But Ofsted were impressed by the hard work and commitment of our students and staff,” he added.

“The report is incredibly encouraging and provides evidence that we are moving in the right direction.”