Quar­ter of pupils in ‘in­ad­e­quate’ schools

Ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign group blast county coun­cil

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

MORE than a quar­ter of chil­dren in Bucks at­tend sec­ondary schools that are ‘in­ad­e­quate’ or ‘re­quire im­prove­ment’, an ed­u­ca­tion watch­dog has said.

In Of­sted’s an­nual ed­u­ca­tion, chil­dren’s ser­vices and skills re­port, in­spec­tors found 72 per cent of chil­dren in Buck­ing­hamshire at­tend ‘good or out­stand­ing’ schools.

This is com­pared to 77 per cent last year.

Out of 150 lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, Bucks was ranked 94th when look­ing at the per­cent­age of pupils who at­tend top level sec­ondary schools.

The four lev­els that Of­sted in­spec­tors use to judge a school are rated as out­stand­ing, good, re­quires im­prove­ment and in­ad­e­quate.

Ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign group, Lo­cal, Equal and Ex­cel­lent (LEE) said for an af­flu­ent area such as Buck­ing­hamshire, 28 per cent of chil­dren should not be at­tend­ing sec­ondary schools la­belled as re­quir­ing im­prove­ment or in­ad­e­quate.

Group spokesman Katy Sim­mons said: “Th­ese Of­sted fig­ures ex­plode the myth that Bucks sec­ondary sys­tem is pro­vid­ing fair and equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for all lo­cal chil­dren.

“Lo­cal politi­cians should tell par­ents hon­estly why it is that their chil­dren’s

As al­ways, the data is only part of

the story”

chances of at­tend­ing a school rated ‘good’ plum­met when they get to sec­ondary age and above all they need to stop pre­tend­ing that this some­how has noth­ing to do with se­lec­tion.

“Bucks’ se­lec­tive sys­tem con­cen­trates chil­dren with ad­di­tional needs in par­tic­u­lar schools, plac­ing an un­fair and un­re­al­is­tic bur­den on them.”

She ar­gued that Bucks is in the bot­tom third na­tion­ally for school per­for­mance and is get­ting worse.

“Many of the other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties with sim­i­lar out­comes are in parts of the coun­try ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sig­nif­i­cant dis­ad­van­tage,” she added. “This shouldn’t be hap­pen­ing in an area like Bucks.”

Bucks County Coun­cil de­fended the re­port’s find­ings, stat­ing 84 per cent of pri­mary pupils at­tend good or out­stand­ing schools as rated by Of­sted – three per cent up on last year.

It also ar­gued Bucks is the best per­form­ing lo­cal au­thor­ity in the south­east.

A spokesman said: “Although we’re re­ally pleased with the per­for­mance of many Bucks sec­ondary schools, the re­port shows there is room for im­prove­ment.

“We are there­fore work­ing closely with both main­tained and academy schools iden­ti­fied as need­ing ad­di­tional support.

“As al­ways, the data is only part of the story. The lo­cal au­thor­ity and head teach­ers are work­ing to­gether to se­cure the best pos­si­ble out­comes for all chil­dren and young peo­ple in Bucks.”

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