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Ofsted Annual Report 2014/15

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Vince_Ulam, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Ofsted annual report: A ‘nation divided at 11′

    'Ofsted’s chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has this morning warned that England is a “nation divided” over the quality of its secondary school.

    Today, Sir Michael launched the watchdog’s fourth annual review of schools. He pointed to a contrast in the performance between primary and secondary schools, stating that the gap between the two has not narrowed, despite secondary schools improving slightly.

    The report shows that underperforming secondary schools are concentrated in the north and Midlands; Ofsted said 410,000 children attend a secondary school that “isn’t good enough” and listed 16 local authorities, 13 of which are in the north and Midlands, where less than 60 per cent of children attend good or outstanding secondary schools and have lower than average attainment and progress at GCSE.

    The proportion of good and outstanding secondary schools has increased overall this year (from 71 per cent in 2014 to 74 per cent), Sir Michael said this is down to a greater improvement in the south (79 per cent now good or outstanding) whereas in the north and Midlands just 68 per centof secondary schools are good or better.

    At primary level, 85 per cent of schools are now rated good or outstanding, up from 82 per cent last year.

    However, Mike Parker, director of the Schools North East group, told Schools Week yesterday that it could come down to just five schools in the north, to change outcomes.

    He said: “Let’s put this in context – the north east lags national averages by 2 per cent at requires improvement and 1 per cent at inadequate in secondaries.

    “We only have 170 secondaries in the region so an upwards shift of just 5 schools would bring parity.”

    Launching the report, Sir Michael said: “We are witnessing an educational division of the country after age 11, with secondary schools performing well overall in the South but struggling to improve in the North and Midlands.

    “The facts are stark. Compared to secondary school children in the South, those in the North and Midlands on average make less progress in English and maths, perform worse at GCSE and attain fewer top grades at A-level.

    “If left unaddressed the consequences will be profound. Our society, our future prosperity and development rely on the better education of our children. As things stand, too many secondary schools in the North and Midlands are failing to equip young people with the skills and knowledge they and the country need.

    “I fear that unless we resolve these divisions our country’s educational progress will be seriously impeded and we will not be able to compete as well with our international competitors.”

    He added: “We have to ask whether this level of failure is being effectively challenged by local politicians and school leaders, and whether the relatively successful big cities in the North and Midlands are playing their part in supporting their neighbouring towns.

    “If Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, and Newcastle are to be engine rooms of a Northern powerhouse, one of their priorities must be working with the towns on their borders to raise attainment and close skills gaps across a wider area.”

    In response, education secretary Nicky Morgan said: “The landscape of English education has been transformed over the past five years through raising both standards and expectations. Thanks to the hard work of teachers across the country and our ambitious programme of reforms, there are now 1.4 million more pupils being taught in good or outstanding schools compared to 2010.

    “This progress should not be ignored, but we believe more needs to be done to deliver educational excellence everywhere and tackle pockets of underperformance, so that we can extend opportunity to every single child.”

    The local authorities where less than 60 per cent of children attend good or outstanding secondary schools, have lower than national GCSE attainment and make less than national levels of expected progress, are:
    – Middlesbrough
    – Hartlepool
    – Blackpool
    – Oldham
    – Doncaster
    – Bradford
    – Barnsley
    – Stoke-on-Trent
    – Derbyshire
    – Liverpool
    – Knowsley
    – St Helens
    – Salford
    – Isle of Wight
    – Swindon
    – South Gloucestershire.

    (SchoolsWeek.co.uk, 1st December 2015.)

    The report PDF may be found here.
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I wonder if the areas in which those LAs are situated have anything in common...
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Cambridgeshire was getting trashed and yet they have affluence, academies, conscientious tutored children etc. Perhaps, this is being contentious I know, perhaps, that as a variable, LAs (containing both academies and LA schools) are not a valid variable. Perhaps, they contain so many factors beyond control that they are not statistically comparable.
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Am I alone in finding this a monumentally stupid, naive and ill-educated statement?
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    No. It's more like a vapid platitude.
    lanokia likes this.
  6. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Almost my whole teaching career has been in Cambridgeshire, for most of that time it was one of the most poorly funded places in the country in terms of £ per pupil. I think this may have been addressed somewhat now, though from what I see any extra money has been soaked up by ever growing and better paid SMT's that didn't used to be like that.

    Much of Cambridgeshire outside of Cambridge is still very rural and there is the hangover in approach and attitude of the influence of seasonal jobs in a similar manner to sea-side towns.

    Then again maybe it's not so simple. I notice Wilshaw mentioned that no one is really sure why the much vaunted improvement in London schools has happened in the last ten years or so, or maybe they don't want to say why, a large increase in funding was mentioned however.
  7. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Didn't the 'London Challenge', which encouraged schools to work collaboratively, have a major positive impact?
  8. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter


    Sorry I can't find the reference now. As far as I understand it, things were done and things improved, though it is not entirely clear why it is that things improved so much and whether or not they were connected with the things that were done.

    The collaborative work is part of it but not all of it, I have heard it suggested that it has in part to do with immigrant families wanting to take advantage of educational opportunities.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The premise that this data means anything at all - or that poor teachers are distributed predominantly in the north is borne of the same statistical expertise that gave us RAISEOnline, the data dashboard and observations that are correct 49% of the time.

  10. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Any fool can tell you why London schools have improved! Why not let it be me...
    Lots of chains operating in the area, hundreds of academy conversions. School boards in charge of reporting their own results on the school dashboard. School boards having very close relationships with ofsted inspectors and consultants.
    Northern schools need to learn the 'right' way to report their results 'the correct way' or fund the 'right tools' of the trade pretty sharpish!

    I think now the government is edging councils out, central govt want to hand the education funding over to their donors in the south.

    What price northern schools are going to be taken over by trust boards in the south over the next few years, similar to how the big 5 supermarkets run the UK?

    What price we are going to see schools and their performance analysed like football matches and Bloomberg on breakfast tv... Yawn

    yes it is all in my imagination, but unfortunately it does not stay there for very long.

    Politics is a bit like chess. Everytime the dfe or ofsted say something you can actually see the 5 moves ahead to their checkmate.
  11. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I was trying to contact a former colleague yesterday via her school so I went to the school website. The site greyed out and up popped a box bragging that they had their best ever exam results, what the % was and how fab they were. I had to read this and click before I could see the rest of the site.

    "Come to our exam factory!" It struck me as very sad.
  12. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Not so sure about that. My authority is in the East Midlands, which came out on the multi-coloured map as the 'worst' area. Yet every secondary school here is an academy, and a huge number of primary schools, too. Doesn't stop our results and improvement being rubbish.
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Very few LA secondaries in Cambridgeshire. I finished my main career in what must have been one of the worst funded schools in the country.

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