Un­der-per­form­ing schools not im­prov­ing fast enough

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Wheely Wet For Big Bike Race - By Paul Fran­cis

Kent’s ed­u­ca­tion chief says that putting new lead­er­ship teams into fail­ing schools is not al­ways suc­ceed­ing in turn­ing them round quickly enough.

Kent County Coun­cil ed­u­ca­tion direc­tor Pa­trick Lee­son said there was “historic fail­ure” in some schools that was tak­ing longer to ad­dress than hoped.

It re­cently emerged the coun­cil had re­moved 21 head teach­ers from schools in two years – more than half af­ter their school had failed an Of­sted in­spec­tion.

Unions have crit­i­cised the ris­ing num­ber be­ing re­moved from un­der-per­form­ing schools.

Mr Lee­son was re­spond­ing to con­cerns raised by Labour group leader Gor­don Cowan at an ed­u­ca­tion cabi­net meet­ing that KCC was fall­ing short of its tar­get to have no fail­ing schools by 2015 and that fig­ures in­di­cated the num­ber of pupils at good or out­stand­ing schools was fall­ing.

Cllr Cowan said: “Of­sted out­comes for pri­mary schools has fallen com­pared both with pre­vi­ous per­for­mance and to na­tional norms. In 2012, 61% were good or out­stand­ing – a fig­ure de­scribed by KCC as un­ac­cept­able.

“One won­ders then how the au­thor­ity would de­scribe the cur­rent shock­ing fig­ure of 53%, down again from last year’s 56% com­pared with a na­tional av­er­age of 59%.”

Mr Lee­son said the num­ber un­der-per­form­ing was “a mat­ter of great con­cern”.

“It is partly the case, but it can­not go on be­ing the case, that we are deal­ing with a lot of historic fail­ure and it is tak­ing some time to ad­dress those is­sues.”

But he said KCC was stem­ming the flow of fail­ing schools, adding: “We are work­ing very hard to re­move them from spe­cial mea­sures. Since Christ­mas, we have had very few schools go­ing into an Of­sted cat­e­gory. We are stem­ming that flow of fail­ure and that is very en­cour­ag­ing to me, even though I am ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed that the num­ber of schools in a cat­e­gory is still as high as 29.”

Unions have crit­i­cised the ris­ing num­ber of head teach­ers be­ing re­moved from schools

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.