Turnaround at Sheffield school as Ofsted marks it ‘good’ for the first time

Pupils and staff at a Sheffield school which had been rated as ‘requiring improvement’ are celebrating after Ofsted inspectors rated them as ‘good’ for the first time.

Outwood Academy City, based on Stradbroke Road, had previously been found to ‘require improvement’ following an inspection in September 2016.

But, following its most recent inspection in February this year, Ofsted noted the academy’s significant progress.

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Inspectors marked that the effectiveness of leadership and management at the school was ‘outstanding’, which had resulted in improved standards across the school.

Possibly the biggest improvement at the school has been in pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare.

Ofsted noted this area had ‘improved markedly and significantly since the previous inspection’ with Ofsted stating that students ‘show a great pride at being part of the school’ and ‘feel safe [and] believe that staff genuinely care for them and their well-being’.

Andrew Downing, Principal of Outwood Academy City, said: “Having been born and raised in the local area, this judgement by Ofsted is significant to life chances of the students and families in this community.

“I am beyond proud that the hard work of students, governors and staff at Outwood Academy City has been noted by Ofsted.

“The importance of a good education cannot be overestimated, but a good education goes beyond academic learning.

“We believe that a good education means supporting all pupils through all aspects of their lives, and working with them to ensure they are highly employable individuals and respectable members of the community.”

To assist the school in maintaining its rapid improvement, Ofsted were keen to see the school ‘continue to improve the quality of teaching and learning, particularly so that disadvantaged pupils’ outcomes continue to rapidly improve’.

Andrew added: “Ofsted’s recommendations for our next steps are in line with our own evaluation of our journey to becoming an outstanding school and all the staff at the school will continue to work hard to achieve this aim for our pupils.

“We always put students first in our approach, and by doing this we can transform lives and raise standards.”

The good news from Outwood Academy City helped mark a major milestone for the Outwood Grange Academies Trust, which run the school.

It saw all its schools that have been inspected by Ofsted since becoming part of the Trust, be rated as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.