Sliding Sheffield school fails inspection

Grenoside Primary School sign.
Grenoside Primary School sign.
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A Sheffield school has been found to be failing its pupils - only three years after a previous inspection report rated it ‘outstanding’.

Leadership and management at Grenoside Primary were found to be inadequate, with the pupils’ achievement levels having declined sharply since the last report.

The school’s overall performance had deteriorated in similar fashion, and the children’s progress was not being measured effectively.

Efforts to put things right had been inadequate, inspectors found.

The school found itself at the centre of controversy in 2011 after some parents protested over plans to extend sex education to the youngest children.

The row resulted in demonstrations by far right groups outside the building.

Headteacher Colin Fleetwood left his post at the end of last term, and an experienced replacement Pamela Smith has now been recruited for the current academic year.

The report says not all pupils are reaching the standards of which they are capable.

Standards of teaching needed to be improved as the quality of lessons was variable, had gone down since the last inspection, and not enough was good or better.

Teachers did not always make sure that work was matched to the pupils’ abilities - so for some it was too difficult and for others too easy.

Governors did not fully understand their roles and responsibilities and were not sufficiently knowledgeable about how the school was performing because they relied too heavily on information supplied by the head.

Plus-points for the school were the enthusiasm and energy of the teachers, while pupils enjoyed lessons and were well-behaved and caring, liking the opportunities on offer.

The school itself was spacious, well maintained and provided a good climate for learning.

New head Mrs Smith said everyone was disappointed with the verdict, but they were determined to improve.

“Already we have started to put measures in place so that Grenoside can return to its former glory, most notably an overhaul of the leadership team,” she said.

“The former head has now left and I have been put in place to take Grenoside forward. We are confident that results will improve this year and we will not rest until we get Grenoside back on track.”

Vice-chair of governors Callum Cursley added: “We have to take action to improve results. We firmly believe that Grenoside is still a very good school providing a broad-based, stimulating and challenging learning experience for our children, in a safe environment.”