‘Failing’ academy pledges to fight back with new team

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

A SHEFFIELD school has been labelled ‘failing’ for the second time in three years.

Ofsted inspectors put Sheffield Springs Academy in Arbourthorne in ‘special measures’ again after rating the quality of teaching, pupils’ achievement, behaviour and leadership and management as ‘inadequate’.

Disruptive behaviour, low levels of attendance, attainment and exam results were highlighted as causes for concern.

Newly-appointed head Russell Heritage described the results as ‘disappointing but not unexpected’, as the Ofsted team visited the school just two weeks after he and 25 other members of teaching staff began work at the school, which is run by the United Learning Trust.

In a letter to parents, Mr Heritage says: “The leadership team, staff, governing body and United Learning Trust are all fully committed to Sheffield Springs and dedicating our combined resources to turning around the previous vulnerabilities of the school.

“And, while the report itself pulls no punches, we are genuinely very confident actions already underway will secure sustainable improvements in the coming months and years.”

Inspectors placed the school in ‘special measures’ in September 2009 but it was judged ‘satisfactory’ the following year.