Education watchdogs slam Derbyshire schools as ‘not good enough’

Council chiefs have vowed to improve school standards after a Government report painted a bleak picture of education in Derbyshire.

By Michael Broomhead
Thursday, 11th December 2014, 12:49 pm
The report paints a bleak picture of education in Derbyshire.
The report paints a bleak picture of education in Derbyshire.

Ofsted inspections carried out in the last year revealed just 42 per cent of secondary schools were deemed to be good or outstanding.

The figure, which is below the national average of 71 per cent and down from 55 per cent on the previous year, means the county’s secondary schools are ranked 143rd out of 150 local authorities nationally.

The report also showed that 78 per cent of Derbyshire primary schools were good or outstanding – giving the county a ranking position of 103 out of 150.

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That is up from 72 per cent on the previous year - but the figure is still below the national average of 82 per cent.

The data is revealed in Ofsted’s annual report.

Christopher Russell, East Midlands director for Ofsted, said the findings were deeply worrying.

He said: “Too many young people in the area are going to schools which are not good enough.

“They and their parents deserve better.”

Councillor Kevin Gillott, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Our primaries are doing well but as soon as I took over this role in 2013 I recognised there was an issue with secondary schools - which there had been for a number of years.

“I immediately took action to address this and, in spite of massive cuts by the Government, we found the money to invest in our advisory service which supports schools and headteachers.

“Our ambition is to ensure all Derbyshire children get the education they deserve and through our Journey to Excellence policy we want all schools in the county to be good or better by 2017.

“We have many excellent schools in Derbyshire doing a very good job for the county’s children.

“Even in the three months since the Ofsted report was compiled, the percentage of secondary schools in Derbyshire rated good or better has increased by four per cent. In primary schools, 80 per cent are good or better – a five per cent increase since last year.

“We are confident this upward trend will continue.

“Challenges still remain, but the improvements we’ve made so far are a tribute to the hard work of students, teachers and local authority staff working together across Derbyshire.”

He added: “I would like to reassure parents we will continue to challenge and support our schools, including taking decisive action when necessary to raise attainment and ensure every pupil is the best they can be.”

Head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw, who wrote the education watchdog’s annual report, said secondary schools nationally had “stalled”.

He said there were 170,000 pupils in inadequate secondary schools - about 70,000 more than two years ago.

Inspectors found a “hubbub of interference” in too many UK classrooms where pupils gossiped or used phones.

Standards of behaviour were found to be poor in 28 per cent of secondary schools nationally in 2013/14 – up from 21 per cent the year before.