Ofsted chief voices fears over poor performance of North-East secondary schools (From The Northern Echo)
For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Ofsted chief voices fears over poor performance of North-East secondary schools
THE North-East has some of the weakest performing secondary schools in the country and needs to urgently raise its game, Ofsted's chief inspector has warned.
Sir Michael Wilshaw was speaking in York, as a new drive to push up education standards in the North-East and Yorkshire was announced.
Sir Michael said: "While primary schools in the North-East are in line with the national picture, and the college sector is faring better than the national average, the performance of the region's secondary schools is a major cause for concern."
"We must begin to tackle the stark variation in standards in schools across our country. There is still too much of a postcode lottery when it comes to educational success."
Figures published by Ofsted based on inspection results highlighted that 36 per cent of secondary schools in the North-East are less than good, compared to 31 per cent nationally.
And only 19 per cent of secondary schools in the region are outstanding, compared to a national figure of 26 per cent.
The percentage of pupils making expected progress between Key Stages 2 and 4 is also the lowest of all regions.
The national average is 69.2 per cent with the North-East figure being 67.4 per cent. For maths, the national figure is 69.8 per cent, with the North-East figure being 66.4 per cent.
The meeting in York highlighted the variations in performance in the region.
Middlesbrough and Hartlepool were both singled out as areas where there is scope for improvement.
In Middlesbrough, five out of the seven secondary schools inspected before December 31, 2012, are less than good, with two being judged inadequate, while there are "unacceptable" levels of Key Stage 2-4 progress for English (55.2 per cent) and maths |(53.1 per cent). The national figures for English are 69.2 per cent and maths 69.8 per cent.
In Hartlepool, three out of the five secondary schools are less than good with an unacceptable level of Key Stage 2-4 progress for English (50.8 per cent) and maths (63.7 per cent).
Nick Hudson, Ofsteds new regional director for the North-East, Yorkshire and Humberside, promised that Ofsted will be much more "hands on" in future and inspectors would be doing all they could to support schools to make necessary improvements.