Inspectors find school improves

Getting better: Newfield School.
Getting better: Newfield School.
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INSPECTORS have found a Sheffield secondary needs to improve – but also discovered the process is already well under way.

Newfield School at Norton Lees was on the failing list until 2010 with a high staff turnover and culture of low expectations for pupils.

But this term it has formed a partnership with Dore’s high-performing King Ecgbert School, and it has a new headteacher and other senior staff who have transformed the secondary’s direction.

Inspectors found there had been measurable recent improvements in teaching, and as a result some was now outstanding.

A warm and welcoming atmosphere at the school was also praised, with its students friendly and polite.

But over the last few years achievement levels had been low, with pupils not making enough progress and not enough gaining key numeracy and literacy skills.

Youngsters were also hampered by having too many temporary teachers – in 2011-12, nearly half the staff were temporary or were from supply agencies.

Most pupils attended regularly and were well behaved but a few played truant and failed to progress.

Inspectors felt new head Tim Eldridge, recruited from King Ecgbert, had made a good start this term but it was too soon to see his long-term impact.

Mr Eldridge said: “It was particularly pleasing the inspectors reported on the clear evidence they saw of rapid improvements which are beginning to transform the school.

“Newfield has lots of potential. We are determined the improvements already under way will enable all students to aim high and achieve their potential. We know there is a still a lot of work to do at Newfield, but we are confident the changes already under way will enable the school to improve rapidly.”

Chair of governors Ed Wydenbach said: “We were delighted the inspection recognised the positive impact brought about by changes in school leadership and the newly formed partnership with King Ecgbert School. The report validates our strategy for moving the school forward and provides a firm foundation for improvement.”

n See www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/107141 for the full report.