Sheffield academy chain under fire

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A national academy chain which runs a Sheffield secondary school has come under fire after the first mass inspection of schools run by a single organisation.

Ofsted found that an overwhelming proportion of pupils attending 16 academies run by the E-ACT Multi-Academy Trust were not receiving a good education.

But Parkwood Academy in Shirecliffe was found to be bucking the trend - it was one of only five out 16 schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

E-ACT runs 34 schools across the country and the 16 inspections were carried out in a coordinated drive over a two-week period.

Inspectors looked not just at the effectiveness of each school, but also looked at the impact of the support and challenge given to them by E-ACT.

The trust has now been told by ministers to give up control of 10 of its schools.

Parkwood’s performance was one of the best in the chain - it improved from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘good’ and its effectiveness had grown significantly since its last check up.

Of the other 15, 11 were failing to provide a good education, with five of those judged to be inadequate.

And 10 academies had failed to improve since their previous inspection, with six having a poorer grade.