Schools need to raise their stan­dards and do bet­ter

One in five ‘re­quire im­prove­ment’ or are deemed ‘in­ad­e­quate’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

HILLING­DON’S schools are to be told by the coun­cil to do more to raise stan­dards and at­tain­ment.

A num­ber of schools in the bor­ough need to do bet­ter, the coun­cil’s cab­i­net was told last week in a re­port which high­lighted how one in five Hilling­don schools are graded as ‘re­quires im­prove­ment’ or ‘in­ad­e­quate’ by Of­sted fig­ures.

This was above the na­tional av­er­age of 16 per cent.

Cllr David Sim­monds, cab­i­net mem­ber for education and chil­dren’s ser­vices, said: “Schools have the re­sources and re­spon­si­bil­ity to im­prove teach­ing and learn­ing in the class­room, and it is a con­cern that some chil­dren in Hilling­don are not do­ing as well com­pared to chil­dren at­tend­ing schools in other parts of Lon­don.

“This is de­spite pro­tected fund­ing and hav­ing full con­trol of ev­ery­thing need to im­prove.

“The bor­ough’s GCSE re­sults are par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing, with grades last year con­tin­u­ing to re­main below the Lon­don av­er­age.”

The Tory-run coun­cil will use for­mal pow­ers of in­ter­ven­tion where they ap­ply or es­ca­late con­cerns to the Re­gional Schools Com­mis­sioner or Sec­re­tary of State for Education for Academy or Free schools where lo­cal au­thor­ity pow­ers are lim­ited.

Cllr Sim­monds added: “We are deeply dis­ap­pointed at the lack of am­bi­tion within some schools to do bet­ter by our chil­dren and we are call­ing on them to make faster progress with their im­prove­ments.

“We will not hes­i­tate to take ac­tion where we feel this is not hap­pen­ing.”

But Cllr Jan Sweet­ing, Labour’s lead on The Chil­dren, Young Peo­ple and Learn­ing Pol­icy Overview Com­mit­tee, claimed the Con­ser­va­tives are mask­ing the real is­sues by not pre­sent­ing sta­tis­tics by each ward in the bor­ough.

She said: “By av­er­ag­ing things out it looks as if the whole area is okay, but there are some re­ally, in­cred­i­bly de­prived ar­eas of our bor­ough.

“We have a lot of tem­po­rary hous­ing. This means the schools have more of a churn of chil­dren. So even though the schools are do­ing their ut­most and work­ing ex­tremely hard, some that are sup­pos­edly in need of im­prove­ment are work­ing ex­tremely hard - but some­times their hands are tied be­hind their backs.”

Cllr Sweet­ing said fund­ing should be tar­geted to­wards need and chil­dren’s cen­tres, which sup­port young­sters out­side of school, should be pro­tected.

She added: “It wor­ries me that the coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing cut­ting fund­ing for chil­dren’s ser­vices. All of th­ese is­sues makes for a much more com­pli­cated pic­ture than that Con­ser­va­tives have said, which is ba­si­cally the schools have the money and it’s up to them to step up and do their thing. It’s a big­ger is­sue.

“Say­ing lack of am­bi­tion in schools is one thing, but I think there’s been a lack of am­bi­tion within the coun­cil to help them to get bet­ter.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.