Sheffield learning centre makes progress

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A Sheffield centre which takes in pupils excluded from other schools is making reasonable progress, after inspectors last year found it was failing its youngsters.

A second check-up at Sheffield Inclusion Centre’s two units, on Spring Lane, Arbourthorne, and at Clifford Road, Nether Edge, found 11 members of staff had resigned or left since July.

Fifteen of the 17 primary and secondary classes were observed by inspectors and it was found that some good teaching was counterbalanced by inadequate lessons.

The 2013 GCSE results confirmed that student achievement levels remained exceptionally low overall, but the latest indicators were more positive with some green shoots of improvement.

It was less clear what progress primary pupils were making as tracking arrangements were still in their infancy.

Standards of teaching were improving, especially at Spring Lane, and staff were benefiting from major training programmes which had been put in place.

But progress was still fragile as the turnover of teachers was still so great, the inspectors found.

The number of serious incidents and exclusions was falling and behaviour seen during the visit was mostly calm and positive.

While attendance levels at Spring Lane had risen and persistent absence had fallen, both issues remained major concerns.

Big improvements were still needed if the centre was to stay on track, the inspectors added.