Schools need to raise their standards and do better
One in five ‘require improvement’ or are deemed ‘inadequate’
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.”