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Sheffield school counteracts ‘excellent’ status with spelling error

Graeme Parton

A private girls’ school in Sheffield has been forced to defend itself after putting up a sign containing a glaring  spelling error.

Sheffield High School erected the sign to inform passers-by that it had been awarded the top rating in all categories of its latest government inspection. Whoever was tasked with providing the text, however, failed to spell ‘category’ correctly, and instead went with ‘catergory’.

The mistake was quickly spotted by employees from the establishment, which charges parents £11,000 per year to teach their children, and the disappearance of the sign soon followed. Before this could happen, though, a picture had already been taken and posted online, where it has since gone viral.

The original sign read:

“Sheffield High School 2013 Inspection Report – ‘Excellent’ in every catergory [sic] – ‘Outstanding’ Early Years.”

The school, which teaches students aged 4-18, quickly owned up to the mistake and said on Twitter:

“Yes, we know about the sign. We took it down as soon as it was spotted – but not before the photo was taken #redfacesallround.”

Val Dunsord, the school’s headteacher, explained that it was her intention to renovate the sign to mark the results of the latest inspection from ISI – the private-school equivalent of Ofsted. She said:

“Unfortunately the sign-writer completed the work over the weekend, making an error when copying from the agreed wording and spelling.

“We are amazed by the amount of attention this has attracted when all we wanted to do was celebrate our amazing inspection results.”

The slip-up has no doubt been embarrassing for the school, and may even have a slight effect on its chances of attracting students in the future.

Businesses face similar risks in that once a mistake is spotted and shared online, consumers are likely to wonder whether the firm in question is competent and professional.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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