Ofsted Chief praises North West Headteachers

September 9th, 2013

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Ofsted chief praises headteachers in the North West

for their outstanding work in raising educational standards



The Chief Inspector of Ofsted is today praising more than 100 headteachers from across the North West whose schools or leadership have been rated outstanding since last September.

On the same day that Sir Michael Wilshaw is commending the headteachers for their hard work, Ofsted has published the latest official statistics on inspection outcomes for the nation’s state schools – which shows that the region is making great strides forward.

In the North West, 81 per cent of schools are now judged good or better, compared to 74 per cent a year ago. In Trafford, as high as 90 per cent of pupils are attending good or outstanding secondary schools with other local authorities in the region seeing significant improvements.

The dramatic increase in the region reflects the most rapid rate of national improvement in school performance across England in Ofsted’s 21 year history.

Nationally, 78 per cent of schools are now judged good or outstanding – compared to less than 70 per cent a year ago. It means that over 600,000 more pupils started the new term last week in schools rated good or outstanding than a year ago.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said:

“The unprecedented rate of national improvement that this new data shows is cause for celebration.

“Thanks to the work of dedicated teachers and outstanding headteachers up and down the country, England’s school system is making some genuine and radical advances.

“It means that thousands more children are getting at least a good standard of education. I am delighted to be able to come here and deliver the good news.”

Sir Michael said he believed changes to Ofsted’s school inspection framework that came into force 12 months ago was clearly having a galvanising effect on England’s schools system.

In September 2012, a new grade of ‘requires improvement’ replaced the previous ‘satisfactory’ grade, with schools in this new category given a prescribed four years to improve – or face the prospect of being judged inadequate. During this period, inspectors inspect and monitor the school’s performance on a more frequent basis.

Sir Michael said:

“This morning’s figures illustrate the greater urgency of heads, leaders, governors and teachers to improve their schools to a good standard and not put up with second-best.

“Headteachers are using the ‘requires improvement’ judgement as a way of bringing about rapid improvement in their schools, especially in the quality of teaching. And the national improvement we are seeing is all the better for taking place under the terms of a more rigorous school inspection framework.

“I am determined to use the power and influence of inspection to improve our education system. The message from Ofsted is unequivocal – the acceptable standard of education in this country now starts at ‘good’.”

All English regions have seen an increase since September 2012 in the proportion of their schools judged good or outstanding for overall effectiveness at their most recent inspection. The increases varied between six and 11 percentage points.

The lowest increase was in the East of England, this is now the region with the lowest percentage of schools judged as good or outstanding (72 per cent).  In August 2012 the lowest percentage of schools judged as good or outstanding was the West Midlands.  The West Midlands showed the highest increase (11 per cent) alongside the North East.

Further information:

The official statistics release: provisional inspections and outcomes of maintained schools between 1 April 2013 and 30 June 2013 is available on the Ofsted website http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/latest-official-statistics-maintained-school-inspections-and-outcomes

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