East London Lines boroughs have mixed fortunes in latest Ofsted school report

Mossbourne Academy Pic: Colt Group


The Hackney Learning Trust has spoken out against the annual Ofsted report, describing the results as just ‘a snapshot in time’.

70 per cent of schools inspected nationally were found to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ in Ofsted’s annual education report. As a borough, Hackney’s primary schools ranking was just outside of the bottom ten local authorities in the country, with only 56 per cent of primary schools being marked as ‘good’ or above. While Hackney’s secondary schools were marked as 64 per cent ‘good’ or above.

The Learning Trust, who have been in charge of education in Hackney for ten years, said in response to the report: “This report only reflects one set of criteria by which schools are measured and is a snapshot in time.

“Also, there are only 12 secondary schools in Hackney because it is a small borough. Out of which four were described as outstanding, four are good and four are satisfactory. When you look at pupil outcomes, Hackney schools are currently above the national average with regards to the number of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs at grade A-C.”

The review, published on November 27, shows mixed results for east London boroughs. While schools in Lewisham and Tower Hamlets ranked higher than the national average for the country, Hackney and Croydon were shown to have fewer outstanding schools.

The primary school table showed that in Lewisham 79 per cent of pupils are likely to attend a good or outstanding primary school. In Tower Hamlets the figure is 74 per cent, while in Croydon the number of pupils attending a good or outstanding primary school is 64 per cent.

As a whole, the report showed a six per cent rise across the country, with 64 per cent of schools achieving good or outstanding five years ago. Ofsted attributed the success to the implementation of the ‘London Challenge’, an initiative launched in 2003 to provide extra funding and leadership for London’s struggling schools.

In January 2013 the current framework for Ofsted will change. There are plans for the inspecting body to have a stronger regional presence, leaving schools under greater scrutiny at a local authority level.

Included in the report were observations that schools have improved more rapidly under umbrella management systems with an overall leader, when head teachers mentored other head teachers, and when academies were run as part of a chain.

Michael Wilshaw, the director of Ofsted, said in the introduction to the report that: “Access to good education and training is far too dependent on where you happen to live. This is really unacceptable. The chances of a child getting in to a good or better school are twice as good in some local authorities areas than others.”

But he stressed that this issue was not always down to social and economic factors. The report shows that some schools with a high intake of children from low-income backgrounds had high levels of academic achievement.

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