Joy for Sheffield school rated ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors

Staff and pupils at a Sheffield school are overjoyed after Ofsted inspectors maintained their ‘good’ rating. 

Firth Park Academy in Shiregreen kept its judgement following a short Ofsted inspection, its first since it received the rating in June 2015.

Pupils and staff at Firth Park Academy celebrating their 'good' Ofsted report

Pupils and staff at Firth Park Academy celebrating their 'good' Ofsted report

Inspectors from the education watchdog found the school leadership team to be focused, passionate and committed to continuous school improvement following a change in the governance model provided by the Academies Enterprise Trust.

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They noted an improvement in the quality of teaching and learning, with a revised and more challenging curriculum for pupils in Key Stage 3.

And said instances of low-level disruption in lessons are continuously decreasing, with a calm environment in most lessons in which pupils show a positive attitude to learning. 

Inspectors also recognised that even though attainment is significantly below the national average, pupils make ‘strong’ progress from their starting points.  

The proportion of pupils currently in Year 11 who are entered for the English Baccalaureate has also improved compared to last year.

In the report, inspectors praised the schools effective safeguarding, finding their relationship and communication with external agencies to be strong. 

They also said that since their last inspection the rates of fixed-term exclusions have been significantly above the national average.

Exclusions were found to have increased following the implementation of a new behaviour policy in 2017, in which expectations were raised further.

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However, they said that new system has now been adapted to meet the needs of pupils, with staff applying the policy more consistently meaning  the number of behaviour incidents is decreasing significantly and the rate of fixed-term exclusions is declining. 

Dean Jones, Headteacher of Firth Park said: “We have great pride in our school with our wonderfully diverse family of students and staff. We strive to raise expectations and aspirations ever higher on a daily basis.

“Therefore, it is great to celebrate the positive recognition of the impact being achieved thanks to the commitment of our students, staff, parents, carers, governors and community members.

“Now let’s continue our remarkable journey to become the best school we can be.”

Julian Drinkall, Chief Executive of Academies Enterprise Trust said: “Huge congratulations go to Dean and his team – this is richly deserved and recognises the huge amount of work and tireless commitment to Firth Park.

“Everyone at AET is 100 per cent committed to supporting Firth Park to build on this, and to deliver on our vision of an education that helps every young person go on to lead a remarkable life.”

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To improve further the leaders and those responsible for governance need to ensure that attendance, persistent absence and punctuality of all pupils continues to improve with the rate of fixed-term exclusions continuing to decrease and at a faster pace. 

Leaders must also continue to improve the quality of teaching and learning.