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Further improvement required in East Riding schools

04/07/2013 Joanna
Ofsted has called on East Riding of Yorkshire Council to do more to support primary and secondary teachers in improving school standards across the district.

Back in May, the watchdog carried out inspections of ten primary and five secondary schools in East Riding, as part of its concerted attempt to tackle variations in school quality across England.

A further 12 schools were surveyed by telephone, while Ofsted also sought to gauge the standard of the local authority's support for school improvement.

Its regional director for north-east Yorkshire and Humberside Nick Hudson has now written to East Riding's director of children's services Alison Michalska to divulge the findings of these investigations.

Two of the schools visited were judged outstanding, while a further four demonstrated improvement from previous inspections to be deemed good on this occasion.

However, the remaining nine were all judged to be in need of improvement; of these, one had been rated inadequate in its last inspection, six satisfactory and two good.

Inspectors found that East Riding council had well established procedures in place to support schools it considered to be causing concern and that there were examples of effective support for schools leading to improvement.

Moreover, they felt existing partnerships and collaborations between clusters of schools in the district held promise for the future in terms of driving improvement.

Yet Ofsted also found that the council was not doing enough to support schools not causing concern, with head teachers claiming it should make more use of the experiences of the best performing schools and also do more to challenge these institutions.

The watchdog also urged the local authority to develop a clearer strategy for maximising the successful clusters of and collaborations between schools and to raise the standard of training it offers to staff in teaching jobs in East Riding.

Mr Hudson's letter concluded: "In summary, there was acknowledgement for the work the local authority was doing to support and challenge the least effective schools.

"Nevertheless, much more needs to be done to establish and embed a clear strategic vision for sustained school improvement across schools in the East Riding of Yorkshire."

In response, Mrs Michalska welcomed Ofsted's feedback and said the council was already taking steps to "sharpen" its strategy, which she was confident would improve support for schools seeking to raise their performance.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801608095-ADNFCR
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