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Ofsted: poorer children in SW 'not doing well enough'

OFSTED’s first-ever South West annual report says the proportion of good or outstanding schools in the region has increased.

But it says that children from poorer backgrounds are not doing well enough.

Bradley Simmons is Regional Director for the South West at OFSTED.

He's been speaking to ITV West Country's Ian Axton.

He told him that in more affluent areas, as well as in more economically deprived communities, pupils eligible for free school meals do not achieve as well as their peers.

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Kids from poorer backgrounds not doing well enough

The report said pass rates of children from poorer backgrounds are 'well adrift' from national pass rates Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Too many children and young people from poorer backgrounds in the South West are not doing well enough according to a report from Ofsted.

The report said despite the increase in 'good' or 'outstanding' schools in the region, pass rates of children from low income families are much lower than the national pass rates.

Children's nurseries closed down in Swindon

Dozens of angry parents are demanding answers tonight after a chain of children's nurseries in Swindon suddenly shutdown. It follows an investigation into how a child temporarily went missing from one of them.

The council - who had planned to withdraw funding following a critical Ofsted report - is now trying to find alternative places for more than a hundred children. Richard Payne reports.

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Children's Councillor's response:

We haven’t reached the standards that Ofsted set for us or that we set for ourselves and that is very disappointing.

We are taking urgent action to make sure we do everything this report requires within its timescales, and then to use it to help drive further improvements in the future.

The report confirms the inspectors saw examples of good practice here in Somerset, and we are determined to make sure that this is the norm right across our whole service.”

– Conservative Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Somerset County Council.
West Country (W)

'Facing up to the challenges highlighted'

We totally accept Ofsted’s findings but will work with the positives too.

Everyone connected to the service will be disappointed by these findings.

The job now is to use this report to ensure we improve in all areas.

We have many excellent people working here and we will all pull together to do this.”

– Peter Lewis, Interim Director of Children’s Services, Somerset County Council.
West Country (W)

Chief Executive: report is 'deeply disappointing'

We had already identified areas for improvement and have been taking action.

We now have the right people in the right place doing the right things.

We will, of course, follow through all of Ofsted’s recommendations.

Ofsted has recognised our investment in the service and our appointment of a nationally recognised Interim Director of Children’s Services, Peter Lewis, to steer us through the changes we need to make.

We do acknowledge that our speed of change has not been fast enough.”

– Sheila Wheeler, Chief Executive, Somerset County Council
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