Troubled Sheffield education centre making progress

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A Sheffield centre which teaches pupils who have been taken out of mainstream schools is making reasonable progress – after inspectors placed it in special measures in March last year.

Sheffield Inclusion Centre was operating from two sites, with primary provision in Sharrow and older students going to Spring Lane in Arbourthorne.

But the primary centre is to be moved next term after all the teachers there resigned, coverage being provided by supply staff.

Inspectors went back to check on progress and found more pupils were making at least expected progress, although from low starting points.

They said the challenge for the centre was not only to get youngsters learning again but to help them make up lost ground caused by previous underachievement.

As it was only one pupil out of 58 Year 11s was set to manage an A* to C grade at GCSE in English or maths.

Too few youngsters were meeting their targets and reaching their potential, inspectors felt.

Standards of teaching were improving but in general there was no core of effective lessons across the centre as a whole.

Inspectors noted a fall in the number of exclusions and major incidents, while attendance levels were rising – at Spring Lane they were up to 60 per cent.

Staff meanwhile were starting to feel vital to the centre’s success, rather than feeling disillusioned and like scapegoats.

Uncertainty over the centre’s future had sparked some of the resignations.