Sheffield academy branded inadequate by Ofsted

Pupils at Yewlands College hard at work
Pupils at Yewlands College hard at work
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A Sheffield secondary school has been branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors two-and-a-half years after it was converted to an academy.

Yewlands Technology College at Parson Cross was found to have serious weaknesses after three years of well below average GCSE results.

Governors have already taken action with a new principal appointed from the start of the summer term.

Yewlands has also joined a new family of schools, the Wakefield City Academies Trust, which has given successful support to over 250 schools across the country.

Inspectors found pupils were not making enough progress, the underachievement being most marked among the most able and most disadvantaged students.

Students were making too little progress in maths, with lessons often proving repetitive and giving youngsters insufficient opportunities to solve problems.

Teaching was also inadequate because there was not enough expertise to ensure pupils made the progress they should.

Inspectors found students came to some lessons expecting to do very little work - and the work they were given was often too easy.

Marking did not always show pupils how to improve their work, and where it did they did not often respond to the advice.

Governors and senior staff did know the school’s strengths and weaknesses, inspectors felt, and they had acted swiftly to appoint an executive head who had improved student behaviour.

But they had not yet taken all the steps necessary to improve teaching and results, while some subject leaders were ineffective in attempts to raise standards.

While Yewlands had plans for improvements, they did not give all staff the sense of urgency and direction they needed to put things right.

Chair of governors Shaun Toulson said problems in the report began to be addressed in the autumn term and marked improvements would bear fruit in this summer’s exam results.