Education trust in charge of three Sheffield schools told the improve by inspectors

James Pape, principal of Oasis Academy Don Valley
James Pape, principal of Oasis Academy Don Valley

The trust which runs two primaries in Sheffield and will open a new school at Don Valley needs to make improvements, inspectors have found.

Academies under the Oasis Community Learning, including Oasis Academy Fir Vale, in Fir Vale, and Oasis Academy Watermead, in Shirecliffe, have a ‘varied record of improvement’, according to inspectors from Government education watchdog Ofsted.

They found while some have improved or sustained effective performance, too many academies have not improved quickly enough and inspectors are concerned disadvantaged pupils, particularly boys, are making significantly less progress than their peers nationally.

The trust has 44 academies and plans to opens Oasis Academy Don Valley, on the former Don Valley Stadium site, in September.

Inspectors visited 10 academies and telephone discussions were held with the principals of 20 others.

They found many positive aspects but also made recommendations for areas of improvement,

A spokesman for Oasis Community Learning said: “We are pleased with the positive comments they have made in their feedback and had already identified and begun to address many of the issues they have noted.

“However, we have serious concerns about the methodology used in the report.

“At the same time that our national office was inspected, 10 of our academies were subject to batch inspection. The results of 90 per cent of these inspections were incredibly positive.

“The Secretary of State has explicitly stated that Multi-Academy Trust inspections should be rooted in the performance of individual academies during Ofsted inspections. We have serious questions as to whether this report truly reflects this.”

Although the two academies in Sheffield are yet to be inspected, seven academies in their Midlands and Yorkshire region have and 71 per cent have been rated as good or better.

Inspectors made several recommendations for improvement including ensuring that disadvantaged pupils make more rapid progress, further develop the work of the trust’s teaching school in the north-west and evaluate the impact of all work with academies so it leads to rapid and sustained improvement.