Plans for progress in place at city academy

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Solid plans are in place to bring about rapid improvement at a troubled Sheffield secondary school, inspectors have found.

Yewlands Academy at Parson Cross was found to have serious weaknesses during an inspection in March, following poor GCSE results last summer.

Inspectors have now been back to check what progress has been made under its new management by Wakefield City Academies Trust.

A new report has found that important work has begun to raise aspirations and expectations of staff, students, and parents too.

Every pupil has been set challenging targets and teachers have received training to help them understand how much their youngsters can be expected to achieve.

Marking of students’ work has improved and new senior teachers have been appointed in key subjects including English and maths.

A review of the work of the governing body is also under way, although improvements are still at an early stage.

The academy’s action plan was found to be fit for purpose, laying out a firm foundation for future improvements, inspectors found.

It also spelled out the academy’s ambitions for long term success, with a clear timetable.

But it was not clear enough in some key areas, although senior leaders were frank in assessing the scale of the task at hand.

A review of the academy’s use of its pupil premium funding was also under way, and was already showing early signs of improving pupils’ reading skills.

There were now much closer checks by staff on how often such pupils were attending, how well they were behaving and what their achievement levels were.