Academy is back on track

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A Sheffield secondary school is on track to being taken off the failing blacklist - after a new visit from inspectors.

Sheffield Springs Academy at Arbourthorne was put into special measures in the autumn of 2012 and Ofsted have been monitoring its performance closely since then.

The latest check-up has found the secondary is making reasonable progress and it can now appoint newly qualified teachers - something schools in trouble are not allowed to do.

Since their previous visit inspectors found 14 teachers had left Springs, with six of the replacements set to be newly qualified.

Senior staff said they were confident that this week’s GCSE results would show that more students were making good progress in English and maths than last year.

Inspectors were impressed that many GCSE students gave up time over the holidays and half-term to put in extra preparation for their exams.

But they found that predictions for next year’s results did not suggest the academy was on a strongly improving trend.

The two youngest year groups were doing better than previous ones but progress was still inconsistent.

The report says that improving literacy skills has to be a priority as standards were limiting pupils’ achievement.

Training programmes were helping to improve teaching quality and as a result lessons were better targeted and pupils were more motivated and made good progress.

But weak teaching had not been entirely eradicated as proven by some of the students’ work.

The pupils’ behaviour was continuing to improve, the inspectors added.