Inspections of county schools ‘unacceptable’

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Ofsted has reported “unacceptable” results back to Northumberland County Council following focused inspections in the county.

Following the recent inspections of 17 schools in the county in October, Ofsted has written to the council to advise of the findings.

Of the schools inspected, 12 were judged to be satisfactory, four were good, and one was judged to be outstanding.

The letter sent to the council said: “While it is encouraging that there has been improvement in almost a quarter of the schools which were inspected, it is disappointing that the remaining three-quarters had declined or not improved.

“These figures do not reflect well on the local authority’s capacity or influence to drive improvement.

“This downward trend of school performance is unacceptable against an overall national and regional improvement,” adding :“This result is unacceptable and will be of great concern to parents, carers and pupils alike.

“There is a clear and pressing need for significant action to establish and embed a clear strategic vision for sustained improvement across schools in Northumberland.”

Coun Robert Arckless, policy board member for children’s services, said: “This focused inspection has raised a number of issues that we are taking very seriously and working hard to resolve.

“We are now focused on making the tangible improvements required. We’re determined to get this right so that there is a good school for every Northumberland learner.”

“A meeting between the local authority, Ofsted and all head teachers in Northumberland is already planned where we expect to agree a way forward.

“Since forming the new administration in the summer the policy board has picked up on some of these concerns and we are taking swift action in the strategic leadership of education and developing a plan of action so improvements can be made.”