Opinion: perspectives

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It is certainly a major concern that far too many Sheffield schools are failing to make the grade, according to the latest annual update from inspection watchdog Ofsted.

It means thousands of the city’s youngsters are being taught in schools officially rated either inadequate or more commonly, ‘requiring improvement’.

But some sense of perspective is needed too.

* Read more: City hits back on failing schools in Sheffield

For the second year the figures reflect a major change of policy introduced two years ago which scrapped a previous category of satisfactory.

Satisfactory was no longer good enough it was decided, and so many schools suddenly found themselves with the new stigma of being, in effect, named and shamed.

Many are still working hard to come to terms with that change – and it won’t happen overnight.

And the picture isn’t all doom and gloom either.

Tapton School is one of only four across the whole region to be held up as a beacon of excellence, rated outstanding in all categories after its most recent check up.

Staff there are busy sharing the secrets of their success with other schools who are part of their academy trust, including Chaucer and Forge Valley.

That co-operative model could be very the way ahead, spreading excellence across the city.