Children being 'failed by schools at every key stage' damning report says

Swindon's children are being "failed by schools at every key stage", a damning report from Ofsted has said.

Swindon's children are being "failed by schools at every key stage", a damning report from Ofsted has said.

The education watchdog says performance in phonics for six-year-olds puts Swindon as one of the poorest in the country, while seven-year-olds are the joint lowest performers in reading in the South West.

Only 44% of 11-year-olds reach the expected standard in reading, writing and maths.

Ofsted has now published a letter calling on headteachers, chief executives of multi-academy trusts, senior political leaders, governors, the local authority and the Regional Schools Commissioner to unite and ensure that pupils in Swindon get the education they deserve.

Bradley Simmons, Ofsted Regional Director for the South West, said that he had raised these concerns to Swindon Borough Council on at least three separate occasions.

Mr Simmons added recent inspections of five secondary schools in the town also showed a decline, with only one now being rated as good.

One went from good to requires improvement, one failed to improve from requires improvement and two went from requires improvement to inadequate.

Credit: ITV News

Churchfields Academy is one secondary school highlighted in the report, having slipped from a rating of 'good' to 'requires improvement'.

It's more than 200 children below capacity and will soon seek the help of an outstanding academy in Royal Wootton Bassett.

Its head teacher, Sandra Muir, took over in January and says a new leadership team and governors are helping to make rapid improvements.

Some say Ofsted's findings could do more harm than good.

Our presenter Ian Axton asked Cllr David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council about the poor results.

Cllr Renard told us that the letter came out of the blue and was at odds with what Bradley Simmons had written earlier this year. He also said it was at odds with what other inspectors have said.

  • Watch the full interview with Cllr David Renard below: