Praise for 'good' Sheffield secondary school which continues to improve

Ofsted inspectors have praised a secondary school in Sheffield as it marks a major milestone in its journey of improvement.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 10:29 am
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 10:43 am
Forge Valley School has achieved a good OFSTED report. Headteacher Dale Barrowclough with pupils

Forge Valley School, in Stannington, was rated ‘good’ across all aspects during its latest Ofsted inspection – a turnaround from the previous ‘requires improvement’ judgement in 2017. 

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Forge Valley School has achieved a good OFSTED report. Headteacher Dale Barrowclough with pupils

In the report, inspectors noted the ‘ethusiasm and commitment’ of ‘inspirational’ headteacher Dale Barrowclough – who joined the school in 2014 – and his leadership team.

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Governance from the Tapton School Academy Trust is also said to be a ‘strength’ of the school.

Mr Barrowclough said: “Our report and verbal feedback from inspectors judge Forge Valley to be overwhelmingly good. This report is a key milestone in our school improvement journey.

“I am absolutely thrilled for everyone in our community, who can be totally assured that Forge Valley is a great place to learn, work and grow.

Pictured pupils Nayagan Indrasenan, Molly Taylor,Mariam Kamara, Amy Kennedy Harvey Eyre-Wood and Dylan Jones celebrating the 'good' Ofsted judgement

“Further, I am steadfast in my opinion that the school is well placed to improve even further.”

Inspectors said the quality of teaching, learning and assessment has ‘improved considerably’ and is now ‘consistently strong across almost all subjects’.

The support for pupils with special educational needs/or disabilities (SEND) is said to be ‘strong’ and relationships between pupils and staff are ‘very positive’. 

However, school attendance is said to be above the national average and despite extensive work by the attendance team ‘disadvantaged pupils’ remain more likely to be absent than their peers.

A ‘small amount of variability’ also remains in the quality of teaching leading to an ‘element of unevenness’ in pupils progress.

David Dennis, CEO of Tapton School Academy Trust, said: “I am delighted that Tapton School Academy Trust has been successful in supporting the turnaround of Forge Valley led by staff, governors and the community.

“We are proud that it is now the good school that the community needs and deserves, as we work to realise the life chances and dreams of every child.”

The report recommended further action to reduce any ‘remaining variability’ in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and improve attendance rates for disadvantaged pupils.

It also said work must be done to identify action needed to improve pupil behaviour and that leaders must evaluate the effectiveness of their actions.

Mr Barrowclough added: “I want to thank everybody, from our amazing teachers at both Forge Valley and across the Trust, to our fantastic pupils and supportive parents for the part they have all played in our improvement.”