Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 17:33 UK

City academy branded 'inadequate'

Sheffield Springs Academy
The academy is run by the Christian charity United Learning Trust

One of Sheffield's first city academies has been branded "inadequate" by government inspectors.

Sheffield Springs Academy has been given an official notice to improve after an inspection by Ofsted in May.

The former Myrtle Springs School was taken out of council control in 2006 and handed over to the United Learning Trust, a Christian charity.

However, standards of teaching and learning, especially among 11 to 14-year-olds, have been rated inadequate.

Governors were also criticised for not for being aware of the scale of problems at the academy, which is housed in a new £27m building and received extra government funding to boost its exam results.

'Committed staff'

Head teacher David Lewis, who went on long-term sick leave shortly before the inspection, was replaced on a part-time basis by Kathy August, the principal of the United Learning Trust's academy in Manchester.

Andrew Sangar, the cabinet member for children's services at Sheffield City Council, said: "Myrtle Springs, when it was run by the council, had challenges; this just reminds us that some of those challenges remain.

"There is a lovely new building, there are some very committed staff, but they are not making the progress that Ofsted expected them to."

Acting head Ms August said: "We've got a fantastic building and a lot of very good people who have been working very hard, who simply need now to have somebody there all the time.

"That is my job, to make sure that the strategic leadership and vision is there and is operational on a day-to-day basis.

"We know what to do, we will be able to do it."

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