Handsworth Grange Ofsted: Sheffield school plunges from 'outstanding' to 'requires improvement'

A Sheffield secondary school has slipped from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’ due to pupils throwing food and new policies on uniform, mobile phones and toilets which have left many pupils and parents ‘disgruntled’.
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Handsworth Grange Community Sports College was found to offer a good education, but behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management all fell short, according to Ofsted.

Inspectors visited the school on Handsworth Grange Road between November 22-24. They found pupils behave well in lessons and show positive attitudes to their education. The overwhelming majority of pupils are confident, articulate and polite and staff have high expectations of pupils and support them to be successful.

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But, some pupils’ behaviour - often groups of older boys - at social times can be 'unruly or upsetting'. They sometimes throw food and make derogatory comments - and all staff must ‘consistently address’ it, Ofsted said.

Handsworth Grange Community Sports College has slipped from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’ according to Ofsted.Handsworth Grange Community Sports College has slipped from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’ according to Ofsted.
Handsworth Grange Community Sports College has slipped from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’ according to Ofsted.

It also reported many pupils lacked knowledge of different cultures, traditions and beliefs. And new policies had been implemented without fully considering their impact. Leaders had failed to communicate clearly with pupils and parents about changes to policies, such as locking toilets during lessons, resulting in some pupils and parents developing ‘negative attitudes’ towards the school and its leadership.

Ofsted's report states: “They have been introduced with the right intentions and many pupils and parents recognise this. However, the way these policies have been communicated and implemented have left many pupils and parents disgruntled.”

Inspectors praised the curriculum, learning, support, safeguarding, careers advice and opportunities for discussion and debate.

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They added: “Pupils generally have good relationships with most staff. They say that staff, particularly pastoral staff, are supportive and caring.”

And: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for school leaders. Leaders have been open about these challenges and quick to seek further support to improve the school. The multi academy trust and school leaders have worked closely together to address these challenges and, in most areas, they have clear and effective plans in place to ensure that their ambitions are realised in every area of the school.”

Handsworth Grange Community Sports College is part of Minerva Learning Trust. Pupils are aged 11-16.

The school was approached for comment.

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