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'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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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

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