Praise for Derbyshire schools from Ofsted

Ofsted has praised Derbyshire’s schools in its Annual Report which draws on over 31,000 inspection visits across the schools, early years, children’s social care and learning and skills sectors of England.

This report highlights where improvements are being made but also the need for greater ambition from services for children, young people and learners that are no better than satisfactory.

Alongside the Annual Report, Ofsted today releases a full list of those childminders, nurseries, schools, colleges, adult learning providers and social care providers who have been judged outstanding in the past year.

Derbyshire there are 51 providers, including seven schools, 37 childcare providers, one children’s centre and six children’s social care providers which have been rewarded with this top judgement in 2010/11.

Across England, the Annual Report reflected positively on the decrease in the number of inadequate schools and the increased speed with which schools are coming out of ‘special measures’.

However, it also revealed that: 14% of schools inspected this year, nearly 800, have been judged satisfactory for the second time and only have satisfactory capacity to improve 16 of the 84 colleges inspected were satisfactory for the third time in a row.

Reflecting on the findings of the Annual Report, Miriam Rosen, HMCI, said: “Inspection is about helping services to improve so that children, young people and learners of all ages can benefit from the very best. It is therefore encouraging to see from this year’s Annual Report the strides being taken by some of those who have previously been judged to be failing.

“However, it is a concern that those very children and young people who most need the best services are often those being let down. Our inspections show that providers can be outstanding even in the most difficult circumstances. The challenge must be to help others replicate such success and Ofsted has an important part to play in this by sharing good practice and raising expectations.”

The report highlights continuing concerns about the quality of provision for those children and learners from deprived backgrounds or who may be vulnerable. The more deprived the family a child comes from, the more likely they are to attend an inadequate school. The fifth of schools serving the most deprived pupils were four times more likely to be inadequate at inspection this year than the fifth of schools serving the least deprived. There are also substantial differences in quality of childcare between more and less affluent areas.

But there is also evidence of how it can be done well – this year alone, 85 schools serving pupils from the most deprived families were judged outstanding and the gap in standards between early years providers in the most and least deprived areas has closed slightly.

Other national highlights from the report show that:

Overall, 57% of inspected schools provided their pupils with good or outstanding education. This is in the context of a more risk-based approach to inspection, where outstanding schools were not routinely re-inspected.

The childcare sector continues to perform well, with 74% of early years providers either good or outstanding.

In the learning and skills sector, 39 out of the 84 colleges inspected this year were either good or outstanding.

Of the 47 local authorities who received a full safeguarding inspection this year, nine were judged inadequate for services that keep children and young people safe; 25 were adequate and 13 were good.