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Councillor Brenda Thompson said she accepted Ofsted's report, which said Middlesbrough Council needs to take urgent action to improve opportunities for school pupils.
She said that although the inspection took place at the end of January 2014, it largely reflected a bad set of results the year before, and that the council has made changes this year that should help schools to make progress.
More than half of secondary school pupils in Middlesbrough go to a school rated less than good, according to Ofsted. It says pupils' performance at every stage is below the national average, and children fall further behind the older they get.
Inspectors are warning the authority to take urgent action to improve opportunities for pupils.
Lucy Taylor reports.
Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald says there is a need for improvement in the town's secondary schools.
Middlesbrough Council has released a statement following criticism from Ofsted. An Ofsted inspection was carried out from January 27 to January 31, 2014, during which support was found to be ineffective.
Nick Hudson, Ofsted’s Regional Director for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, has spoken of his concern for education in Middlesbrough.
A third of pupils overall, and over half of secondary-aged children, attend a school in Middlesbrough that is less than good, says Ofsted.
Ofsted carried out an inspection of Middlesbrough council’s arrangements for school improvement between 27 and 31 January this year. This was in response to concerns about the achievement of pupils in primary and secondary schools and the quality of education for young people in training aged 16-18.
In Middlesbrough, attainment at each key stage remains well below national averages and progress slows as pupils get older. The proportion of school leavers not in education, employment or training is almost twice the national average.