Independent Sheffield girls school rated 'inadequate' by inspectors

An independent girls school in Sheffield has been branded inadequate after inspectors found its leaders are failing to meet standards.

Monday, 16th January 2017, 9:42 am
Updated Monday, 16th January 2017, 9:46 am
Oak Tree High School, Bland Street, Sheffield

Senior staff at Oak Tree High, in Fir Vale, have pledged to turn around the fortunes of the secondary school, which opened its doors five years ago.

Standards have fallen since it was last inspected in 2012, when it was rated as good.

When inspectors from Government education watchdog, Ofsted, visited in November 2016, they found the effectiveness of the school's leadership and management was inadequate and that they were not meeting the required standards of an independent school.

They also found that safeguarding was ineffective because employees did not have access to the appropriate training for their roles and leaders did not carry out essential checks on staff in a timely manner.

But inspectors did find many positive areas at the school.

They praised the quality of teaching, the 'broad and balanced' curriculum and the system used to monitor pupils' progress.

Inspectors also praised the behaviour of pupils, who they found to enjoy coming to school, feel safe and make good progress in a wide range of subjects.

Tanvir Ali, chairman of the school's executive committee, said: "The school's values are honesty and integrity.

"There is nothing for us to hide from in the Ofsted report as inspectors are clearly pointing in the directions we have to take. We have to take these on board and we are trying to plan accordingly with that."

Mr Ali said the school had come a long way and was now moving in the right direction, with a developing leadership team and strengthened relationships between governors, senior management, staff, pupils and parents.

The school is working hard to keep up-to-date with policies, including those around safeguarding.

Mr Ali added: "From a governor perspective we are trying to provide an effective education in a system for nurturing the girls from their adolescence years into young ladies that have an understanding and grasp on the society that we live in, as well as giving them the best shot in an academic education using the resources we have."