Sheffield academy remains in special measures after being branded inadequate by inspectors

Yewlands Academy. Picture: Andrew Roe
Yewlands Academy. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A Sheffield secondary school has been branded inadequate by inspectors despite being converted into an academy.

Yewlands Academy, in Parson Cross, remains in special measures after inspectors found serious weaknesses more than two years after it joined the Wakefield City Academies Trust.

GCSE results, teaching and leadership and management were all branded inadequate by inspectors from Government education watchdog, Ofsted.

WACT began working in the academy in September 2013, before it formally converted in April last year.

Trust bosses said time is needed to turn around ‘long-standing issues,’ but the school is making significant strides in the right direction.

Inspectors found pupils did not make good progress and the proportion of students achieving five good GCSE results, including English and maths, was significantly below the national average.

Teaching, learning and assessment were branded inadequate because too many teachers do not plan lessons that take into account pupils’ needs or skills. Most-able pupils are not stretched or challenged appropriately.

Leadership and management was also inadequate and inspectors found that since the last inspection, in March 2014, there has been no progress in the academic outcomes for pupils.

Allan Yellup, chief executive of WCAT said: “Our focus is on the future, not what has gone on before.

“We are putting an enormous amount of resource and energy into Yewlands.

“Time is needed to turn around what are long-standing issues. Ofsted’s monitoring visits in January and May had said we were making ‘reasonable progress’.

“The academy is heading in the right direction and has made significant strides forward during the past two years.

“It had its highest levels of attainment in the summer of 2014, with 51 per cent of students gaining five or more GCSE passes A* to C, including English and maths.

“These results would have been surpassed again in 2015, but for the distortion caused by GCSE English results, something that affected schools up and down the country.

“Value added scores, which recognise the improvement of all students, rose for the third consecutive year.

“It is also important to acknowledge the considerable improvements in the climate for learning and uniform, mentioned in the January and May monitoring visits as well as the latest section five report.

“This is due to the hard work of staff, support of parents and carers and the willingness of students to engage learning positively.

“We realise that there is still further work to be done in this area but the ethos and climate of the academy has certainly changed significantly over the last two years.”

Inspectors found senior and middle leader are ‘committed, passionate and have absolute determination to succeed and improve outcomes for pupils’ and there are some examples of good practice around the academy while has improved.

Mr Yellup said: “The report says there are many examples of good practice. We need to encourage that to spread across the Academy.

“We are resolute in our determination to ensure Yewlands has a much brighter future.

“I would like to reiterate my thanks to all the staff and students for their tireless efforts in raising achievement.

“I know their response to the report will be to continue working unabated and with the continued resolve to drive the academy to the Ofsted category of good and beyond.”