Archive | Issue 57-Spring 2014 RSS feed for this section

Chief Inspector sets sight on school governance

2 Jan

I           What the Chief Inspector said in his Annual Report

Ofsted released the second annual report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, in the second week of December 2013 based on the findings from inspections carried out in 2012/13. Almost 80% of schools are good or better, higher than at any time during Ofsted’s existence.  However, the spread of ‘good’ or better schools is uneven. In the Isle of Wight, 14% of young people attend a secondary school that is ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’; in Bath and North East Somerset 100% do. In Wolverhampton, 56% of primary pupils attend a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ school; in Sandwell, 82% do and in Darlington the figure is 97%. Of the 13 local authorities (LAs) where fewer than half of the pupils attend a ‘good’ school, five are in Yorkshire and the Humber.  On the other hand, seven of the nine LAs in which all children attend a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ secondary are in London.

The three prominent (negative) findings in the Annual Report were as follows.

(i)         There was too much mediocre teaching and weak leadership.

(ii)        There were huge regional variations in the quality of education.

(iii)       Many children from low-income families – particularly White children – were underachieving.

Heralding his report, Sir Michael expressed cautious optimism about the future.  “Our statistics this year show that more schools are now getting to good at a faster rate than at any other time in Ofsted’s 21-year history. Some 78% of schools are now good compared with 70% last year,” he said.   He was convinced that if this trend were sustained, our standing in the next PISA (Programme for International Student Assessments) league table would be much higher. Continue reading