BOURNEMOUTH’S aim of ensuring every pupil is in a good or outstanding school by 2015 has been boosted by a positive Ofsted report.

Ofsted inspectors visited Bournemouth council in December because the proportion of pupils attending a good or better school was lower than in many other areas and because progress made during Key Stage 2 had been significantly lower than that seen nationally.

They have now released a report concluding the council has ‘effective’ arranagements for school improvement and has already made significant progress.

They found that two primary schools and one secondary school have recently moved from requiring special measures to being judged good and the proportion of Bournemouth pupils in good or better schools was now broadly in line with the proportion nationally.

Pupils’ attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 has risen year on year and is now in line with national averages in reading, writing and mathematics, and the proportion of students gaining five or more good GCSE grades, including maths and English, is now higher than the national figure.

Good outcomes at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have also been maintained.

However, inspectors warned that the attainment gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers “varies widely” and said this “unacceptable inequality” needed to be tackled urgently. They also said the council needed to agree what steps they would take if the performance of an academy or a free school was to give cause for concern.

“Bournemouth’s vision for its schools is ambitious,” the report states.

“Elected members, senior officers, headteachers and governors all understand the drive for all pupils to attend a good or better school by the end of 2015.

“They know there needs to be a ‘step change’ to achieve this goal.”

Schools are delivering

Cllr Nicola Greene, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at Bournemouth council, said: “We are pleased Ofsted have recognised that the council has robust plans in place to tackle any areas of concern and can see from our results that, together with our schools, we are delivering.

“Their assessment that our arrangements are ‘effective’ demonstrate they have complete confidence in us to continue to improve.”