Plymouth City Council hits out at new Ofsted league table
AN OFSTED league table which ranks local authorities according to inspectors' ratings of schools has been criticised by Plymouth City Council.
Cllr Nicky Williams, cabinet member for children and young people, has labelled the ranking as "ridiculous", "unhelpful" and "misleading".
Ofsted launched the league table yesterday where figures show that in Plymouth 14 percent of schools inspected in the last year were rated as outstanding, 54 percent were good and 32 per cent were satisfactory. None were ranked inadequate.
That compares to 20 percent, 48 percent and 30 percent last year, when two per cent were also rated inadequate.
£3 Off Instant Passport / ID Photos - Fully Guaranteed ServiceView details
Don't trust the photo booths? Get set for your Summer Holidays with J&A Cameras. We are offering £3 Off our Passport Office Approved Instore Passport Photo Service so come in and get it done properly!
Terms: Instant passport photos guaranteed to be correct with the passport office, or we will re-take them for free. No refunds will be given as an alternative.
Contact: 01271 447066
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
In Plymouth 69 percent of pupils are at good or outstanding primary schools compared to 42 percent in the worst performing area, Coventry, and 92 per cent in the best, Camden.
Cllr Williams said: "What a ridiculous situation. The Government's first move was to encourage schools to become independent from councils, giving us less powers to challenge and affect school performance.
"Their next move, Ofsted announces plans to produce and publish league tables ranking councils based on how well schools in their areas perform in inspections. I just can't see their logic. Surely naming and shaming works only when you are responsible for something?
"We agree that every child should be able to attend an excellent local school, but these league tables are unhelpful and misleading.
"The move to academies means we have less ability to drive performance – it is outside our control. Will Mr Gove be publishing tables evaluating his performance in driving improvements in his flagship academies?
"Fortunately in Plymouth we have excellent relationships with our schools and they fully expect us to challenge their performance, regardless of their status or organisational arrangements. As a city, we have eradicated poor performance in our schools – no school has been judged as inadequate by Ofsted. Now that we have achieved this level of performance, together we can strive to move from satisfactory and aspire to excellence."
The South West is also to have its own Ofsted Regional Director tasked with driving up standards after eight posts were created across England. The appointment is part of a drive to reduce the inequality of access to good or better education.
Ofsted's Annual Report, underpinned by the findings of nearly 25,000 inspections during 2011/12, of early years and childcare, schools, colleges and adult learning and skills, finds huge variations in the quality of education across local authority areas.
Comment: Page 11