UPDATE: Government inspectors sent to Bournemouth council after shocking Ofsted report on borough's schools (From Bournemouth Echo)
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UPDATE: Government inspectors sent to Bournemouth council after shocking Ofsted report on borough's schools
GOVERNMENT inspectors have been sent in to Bournemouth council to find out why so few of its schools are good.
Representatives of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools have been in town all week after the borough was ranked near the bottom of tables produced by inspection body Ofsted.
They will report back to the Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw and the results will be published in January.
The shocking tables revealed nearly half of secondary pupils in Bournemouth attend schools that are not providing a good education.
Ofsted's annual report lists authorities according to the percentage of pupils attending schools ranked good or outstanding by inspectors.
Bournemouth is 134th out of 151 for secondary pupils at just 53 per cent and 114th for primary pupils with 72 per cent.
The figures, which cover 2012/13, mean thousands of children in the borough are being educated in schools graded “requires improvement” or “inadequate.”
The national average is 74 per cent and 78 per cent respectively.
Ofsted's Acting Regional Director, Bradly Simmons, told the Daily Echo: “We are really concerned about the low proportion for both primary and secondary schools that are good at the moment.
“I sent members of HMI into Bournemouth to look at the support that the local authority gives to its schools.”
“Bournemouth is one of the lowest ranked authorities nationally for the proportion of pupils attending schools that were not judged good or outstanding at their last inspection” said the report.
“Consequently, in this authority too many pupils face the possibility of going through the whole of their primary and secondary school education in schools that are not providing at least a good education.”
Schools in Dorset and Poole are at the other end of the scale with Dorset at 86 and 89 per cent and Poole at 86 and 88 per cent.
But Dorset County Council is being urged to close the gap between affluent and poorer pupils.
The top secondary school areas in the country include Bath, Camden and Kensington and Chelsea with the Isle of Wight at the bottom of the table.
For primary schools, Darlington has the best figures with Wolverhampton at the bottom.
Jane Portman, Executive Director, Adults & Children at Bournemouth council said: “Bournemouth schools continue to improve year on year and we currently have 77 per cent of primary pupils attending good or outstanding schools.
“Our standards also continue to rise and our end of Key Stage 2 results this year are the best results achieved in Bournemouth. GCSE results in 2013 are above the national average and the best achieved in Bournemouth.
“These significant improvements are due to the hard work and dedication of our headteachers and governors working closely with parents to ensure all Bournemouth's children and young people get the best possible start in life.”
Councillor Nicola Greene, cabinet member for Education & Children services, said:
“We are working with Ofsted to provide them with up to date information on the improvements made to schools in Bournemouth. We are also discussing with inspectors our role in relation to academies as these schools are independent of local authority.
“This is part of Ofsted’s national programme of inspection across local authorities. The inspection is underway and their report will be available in due course.”
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