'Invisible' poor pupils let down

Top teachers should be deployed in schools that are failing their poorest pupils, the Ofsted chief inspector claims. Sir Michael Wilshaw warns there is an "invisible minority" of disadvantaged children who are being let down by schools.

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Top teachers can help 'challenge schools to do better'

Ofsted's chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has reiterated his call for so-called "National Service" teachers to help raise standards in struggling schools across the country.

Speaking on ITV News, he said this approach - where top headteachers and teachers drive up standards - had been successful in London and other large cities:


Headteacher: 'Schools must learn from each other'

Headteacher Louise Bennett. Credit: Daybreak

The country’s most talented teachers should be parachuted into schools that are failing disadvantaged pupils, Chief Schools Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw will urge today.

Louise Bennett, headteacher at The West Grantham Academy St Hugh’s, told Daybreak: "Schools need to learn from each other.

"What we do here is we try and look really carefully at what we do well and we try and share with other schools and we're alread got teachers who are working in other schools."

'Huge inequality' in funding of schools

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said:

While there is no excuse for complacency, you have to take into account how many rural and coastal schools are funded compared to inner city schools.

In the last decade, the intense focus has been on raising achievement in inner city schools, both in support and funding through the London and City Challenges.

The Pupil Premium has helped to address the funding gap to a certain extent but overall there is still a huge inequity in funding.

Schools in poorly funded authorities have less money to attract excellent teachers in key subjects, to buy in additional support and to reduce class sizes and teaching loads.

A Department for Education spokesman said they would consider Ofsted recommendations and respond in due course.

Pupils let down in 'leafy suburbs and market towns'

Ofsted's chief inspector has said that pupils are being let down in leafy suburbs, market towns and seaside resorts rather than the inner-city schools:

Today, many of the disadvantaged children performing least well in school can be found in leafy suburbs, market towns or seaside resorts.

Often they are spread thinly, as an 'invisible minority' across areas that are relatively affluent.

These poor, unseen children can be found in mediocre schools the length and breadth of our country. They are labelled, buried in lower sets, consigned as often as not to indifferent teaching. They coast through education until - at the earliest opportunity - they sever their ties with it.

The most important factor in reversing these trends is to attract and incentivise the best people to the leadership of underperforming schools in these areas.

This may require government to work with Teaching Schools to identify and incentivise experienced and effective teachers to work in less fashionable, more remote or challenging places. The concept of a 'National Service Teacher' should be considered.

– Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted chief inspector


'Invisible minority' being let down by schools

In a speech, Sir Michael warns that there is an "invisible minority" of disadvantaged children living in "leafy suburbs, market towns or seaside resorts" who are being let down by their schools.

These youngsters are under-performing and coasting through school until they leave at the earliest opportunity.

The quality of education is the most important issue facing Britain today. In the long term, our success as a nation - our prosperity, our security, our society - depends on how well we raise and educate our young people across the social spectrum.

Chief inspector: Top teachers should be sent to failing schools

The Ofsted chief inspector is calling for an army of top teachers should be deployed in schools that are failing their poorest pupils. Credit: PA Wire

An army of top teachers should be deployed in schools that are failing their poorest pupils, Ofsted's chief inspector will argue in a speech today.

Sir Michael Wilshaw is calling for the Government to recruit a proportion of England's most talented teachers to teach in "less fashionable, more remote or challenging places".

Teachers could be offered incentives to sign up to become a National Service Teacher such as bigger pay packets, higher status and faster career progression.

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