Ofsted has published the Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of
Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2017/18. The report’s key findings for the North East were:
- By the end of August 2018, 85% of schools in the North East were judged good or outstanding at their most recent inspection, compared with 86% nationally. This was a one percentage point decline for the region compared with August 2017.
- For primary schools, 90% in the region were judged to be good or outstanding, the same as in August 2017. North Tyneside and Redcar and Cleveland had 95% of their primary schools judged good or outstanding compared with 79% in Darlington. Northumberland had the highest rate of improvement across the region, whereas in South Tyneside the proportion of good or outstanding schools declined by nine percentage points compared with 2017.
- For secondary schools, 58% were judged to be good or outstanding; below the national figure and a four percentage point decline compared with August 2017. In Middlesbrough and Newcastle upon Tyne 71% of inspected secondary schools were good or outstanding compared with three of the eight inspected schools (38%) in Darlington. Gateshead had the highest rate of improvement in the proportion of good or outstanding secondary schools compared with 2017.
- In England around 19,000 pupils, that is 4% of pupils, did not progress from Year 10 in January 2016 to Year 11 in January 2017. In the North East it was around 900 pupils (3%).
The report also praised the performance of some North East primary schools in disadvantaged pupils’ reading progress, saying:
“The data shows that in some economically deprived areas – for example, Newham in London and Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East – children eligible for FSM perform much better than in more affluent areas such as West Berkshire. These differences are particularly stark for boys who are eligible for FSM.”
Responding to the report, Chris Zarraga, Schools North East’s Director of Operations and Development, said:
“Schools North East would welcome a wider debate following this report around school exclusions and disadvantaged children in the North East.
“The report shows some positive results for the region, particularly in Ofsted grades for our primaries, but it is concerning that the two stages of primary and secondary are once again being pitted against each other. Ofsted grades statistically bear a very close relationship to a school’s levels of deprivation. Our region’s secondary results are a reflection of deprivation levels in the North East, rather than the region underperforming against other areas of the country. When differences in school intakes, levels of relative poverty, and the prior attainment of students are factored in, the differences with other regions disappear.
“Ofsted’s report also fails to acknowledge the impact of inadequate levels of funding in schools and local support services, which have a disproportionately greater effect on deprived areas such as the North East.”
“Schools North East strongly welcomes the Department for Education’s newest initiative in the region, Opportunity North East, which has the potential to address this issue and ensure that our secondary schools get the support and recognition that they deserve, with equal opportunities to help our children receive an excellent education.”
Read the full report here.