Teams of Ofsted inspectors are in Derby in the first of a wave of focused school inspections targeting areas said to be under-performing.Read the full story ›
The latest figures show that only 43% of primary school age children in Derby go to good or better schools and 42% of secondary school age children.
Today, HM Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, will announce his plan of action in a keynote speech to the North of England Education Conference, including:
- A series of targeted school inspections within a condensed one-week period in areas where the proportion of children attending a good or better school is currently well below the national average for England.
- A new framework for Ofsted to inspect the school improvement service being provided by under-performing local authorities.
- A good practice survey- to share and showcase some of the best examples of local authority support.
Ofsted will start sending teams of inspectors into areas where high numbers of pupils are not getting a good education, in a bid to raise school standards.
In a series of inspections, the watchdog will visit Derby first, as it travels around local authority areas in England over the next few weeks.
These are all areas where the proportion of children attending a good or outstanding school is well below the national average for England, **Ofsted said.
It is understood that about 10% of schools in each area will face an inspection.
In what is being described as a wake up call, the Chief Inspector of schools has warned of an unacceptable postcode lottery for children's chances of a getting a good education. Derby is ranked in the bottom two of a national league table of primary schools judged 'good' or 'outstanding'.
The report shows only 42% of schools in the city make the grade. Yet elsewhere in the Midlands the percentages are significantly higher . Why the difference? Our political correspondent Alison Mackenzie reports.
Ofsted have warned that, nationally, more than 2 million children are still not getting a decent education.Read the full story ›
Vulnerable children are still at risk because Birmingham City Council has failed to meet improvement targets.
Ofsted, has condemned the council as "inadequate" after its latest unannounced inspection.
The quality of social workers is highlighted as one of the key areas of concern.
The Association of British Social Workers say they feel let down and cite poor management and too much paperwork is to blame.
Vulnerable children are still at risk because Birmingham City Council has failed to meet improvement targets. The watchdog, Ofsted, has condemned the council as "inadequate" after its latest unannounced inspection.
It found the service doesn't meet minimum requirements and immediate action has been ordered. Wesley Smith has been looking at the report.
Khalid Mahmood MP for Birmingham Perry Barr says this is the "last chance saloon for Birmingham"
This follows the latest Ofsted report.
They say that this must be supported by an acceptance that local authorities cannot cope with more funding cuts.
“Birmingham is blighted by the same issues that are affecting local authorities across England, and that BASW highlighted in May of this year in our State of Social Work survey – high caseloads, low morale and deep cuts to back office support are making the lives of social workers intolerable.
“However, as the largest council in the country, and with significant areas of deprivation, the city’s challenges are greater than most, which is why the current efforts of a new leadership to improve service provision must be given the time and space – as well as resources – needed to succeed."
"Like any organisation truly committed to protecting the next generation, we welcome this inspection and support the recommendations made by the independent watchdog - many of which, together with our partners, we are already in the process of implementing.
"An example of this is the creation of a new gateway team to ensure case conference notifications - of which there are approximately 250 per month in Birmingham alone - are received and suitably qualified officers tasked to attend where and when necessary."
"While there is no statutory requirement to attend all case conferences, we recognise the benefits the experience and expertise our officers bring to such meetings in achieving better outcomes for those children at risk.
"Our commitment to early intervention is clearly demonstrated by the inspectors praise for the new Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub in the south of the city where detectives work alongside social workers and others passionate about protecting the most vulnerable in the communities we serve."
They say that like their partners, they are "extremely keen" to roll these centres out across the city.
The NSPCC West Midlands has said that high quality child protection is a "non-negotiable" service.
They said that findings of the Ofsted report into Birmingham City Council, failing to protect vulnerable children, are a "cause for concern".
And that is is unacceptable that services in Birmingham continue to be poor.
"The report also recognises that the services in the city have shown recent improvement and we welcome the local authority's commitment to ensuring this progress continues. It is vital that this work remains a top priority at all times so no child falls through the gaps with potentially catastrophic consequences."Through our innovative new services for the most vulnerable children, young people and families in Birmingham, we will continue to work with colleagues in the city to support these improvements, and also challenge if we have concerns."
They said they aim to ensure that vulnerable local children can get the help they "need and deserve".