Annal Nayyar-Ofsted chief laments ‘two nations’ schools standards

Too many schools in England are still blighted by weak leadership and mediocre teaching, education regulators Ofsted have reported today.

Presenting his second annual report, HM Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, said there needed to be a fair distribution of good teachers and headmasters throughout the country and described the state of colleges and schools today as a story of ‘two nations’.

‘Children from similar backgrounds with similar abilities, but who happen to be born in different regions and attend different schools and colleges, can end up with widely different prospects because of the variable quality of their education,’ Sir Michael said.

He urged the new National College for Teaching to ensure teachers and leaders were given the appropriate incentives to relocate to move to areas of the country in greatest need of high quality staff.

Based on more than 8,500 inspections carried out in 2012/13, the report indicated around eight in ten schools are now good or better, the highest proportion in the 20 years of Ofsted’s existence.

This translates as 485,000 more primary school pupils and 188,000 more secondary school pupils going to schools judged good or better compared with a year ago.

However, nearly a quarter of a million children are in inadequate schools and in 13 local authority areas, less than half of secondary pupils attend schools deemed good or outstanding, Ofsted found.

In contrast, the number of local authorities where fewer than 60% of pupils attend a good or improving primary school has decreased from 23 to only three since the last report.

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