Education standards in the East condemned

Ofsted has today published its first ever report reviewing education standards in the East, and the region's primary schools in particular have come in for criticism.

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Academy status for weak schools 'best for pupils'

The best action for primary schools that are "not stepping up to the mark" is for them to be taken over by academy sponsors, according to the Department for Education.

Read: Detailed breakdown of December 2013 Ofsted report findings

Schools with a long history of under-performance, and who are not stepping up to the mark, will be taken over by an academy sponsor.

The expertise and strong leadership provided by sponsors is the best way to turn around weak schools and give pupils there the best chance of a first-class education.

– Department for Education spokesman

Despite DfE findings that 767 schools are failing to meet the Government's new tougher targets, the data suggested that overall primary schools are improving.

Last year 834 primaries would have fallen below the new standards.

Ofsted Regional Director warns that schools in the East are "falling behind" the rest of the country

Sean Harford, the Ofsted Regional Director for the East of England, says that the region's schools are "falling behind" the rest of the country.

He admits that improvements are being made, but wants to see faster progress in order to bridge the gap.

Sean Harford was speaking in the ITV News Anglia studio this afternoon.

Click below to watch our full interview with Sean Harford

Read more: Education standards in the East condemned

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Cambridgeshire Headteacher backs Ofsted's high standards

Children at Holywell Primary School today.
Children at Holywell Primary School today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Schools inspector, Ofsted has published its first report reviewing education standards across the East of England.

It's found children in this region have among the lowest chances of attending a good school, with primary schools performing the worst in the country.

The region's secondary schools are also falling behind.

Julie Branch, Headteacher at Holywell Primary School in Cambridgeshire, thinks some schools will struggle to meet Ofsted's standards.

Julie Branch, Headteacher at Holywell Primary School.
Julie Branch, Headteacher at Holywell Primary School. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Getting rid of 'satisfactory' was probably a good idea, although the number of schools becoming 'requires improvement', which is what they've replaced it with because they're not yet 'good', is extremely challenging.

"Some of the issues around the data that they're wanting on the children's progress, and the way that's measured, can feel hard to achieve for some schools but it is right.

"You want your child to be in a good school, schools want to be good and there's a job that needs to be done."

Read more: Ofsted report slams education standards in the East

Ofsted report slams education standards in the East

According to Ofsted's report, primary schools in the East are performing worse than any other area of the country.
According to Ofsted's report, primary schools in the East are performing worse than any other area of the country. Credit: PA

Ofsted has today published its first ever report reviewing education standards in the East, and the region's primary schools in particular have come in for criticism.

The Annual report says that children in the East have a lower chance of attending a good or better school than other areas of the country.

In fact, primary schools in this region are said to be performing worse than any other region in England, with over half of the local authority areas in the East below the national average for good or better primary schools.

Sean Harford, Ofsted Regional Director for the East of England, is concerned with the findings.
Sean Harford, Ofsted Regional Director for the East of England, is concerned with the findings. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Secondary schools are also thought to be struggling, although improvements are beginning to be noticed thanks to a rise in the percentage of good or outstanding schools in the region compared to this time last year.

Finally, the report states that leadership and management of schools are the worst in the country.

Compared to the national level of 82%, only 76% of Eastern schools are said to be led well.

Sean Harford, Ofsted Regional Director for the East of England, said that he was concerned with the findings:

“While secondary schools in this region are closing the education gap with national performance, this cannot be said for primary schools. The picture for primary aged children is dire.

“Despite the relative affluence of the region, primary school pupils in the East of England have one of the lowest chances of attending a good school in the country.

"It cannot be right that nearly 250,000 children are going to a school that is not good enough. Improvements must be made and made quickly if children are to have a better starting chance.

“Leadership and management are also the worst overall in the country. As Regional Director for the East of England I am determined to focus minds through our inspection and improvement work.

"Ofsted inspectors will monitor, challenge and support those institutions that are underperforming and we will not walk away until education standards improve in the region.”

Education standards in the East under the Ofsted spotlight

Education standards in the East of England will be put in the spotlight today.
Education standards in the East of England will be put in the spotlight today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Education standards in the East of England will be put in the spotlight today, when Ofsted publishes its annual report.

It will say that primary schools in the region are performing worse than in other parts of the country.

It follows a series of critical reports by Ofsted earlier this year in Suffolk and Norfolk.