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Ofsted investigates Norfolk and Coventry schools

18/03/2013 Joanna
Schools in Norfolk and Coventry have been assessed by Ofsted, which sought to gauge how effectively primary and secondary teachers there were educating their pupils.

Only 63 per cent of primary school pupils and 54 per cent of secondary school children in Norfolk attend a school rated as good or above.

Moreover, while 85 per cent of Coventry's secondary school pupils attend a good or better school, this is only the case for 54 per cent of primary school children in the city.

Teams from the education watchdog therefore last week conducted coordinated school inspections to discern the reason as to why their schools have not been doing better, as well as to find whether there has been any recent improvement.

Both series of visits form part of a concerted programme of action being carried out by Ofsted this term in local authority areas where there are a disproportionate number of underperforming schools.

It comes after the watchdog's latest annual report, published in November 2012, highlighted "unacceptable" levels of variation in the educational performances of districts with similar demographics and levels of deprivation.

Ofsted's regional branches also conducted telephone interviews at schools in Norfolk and Coventry that were not visited by their inspectors, as well as assessing the level of external support schools are receiving from their local authority in raising education standards.

Under a new proposed framework currently at the consultation stage, Ofsted plans to as of May also inspect those councils found to be failing in their duties to improve schools, promote high standards and provide educational access to all.

David Kershaw, Coventry City Council's cabinet member for education, expressed the hope that inspectors visiting its local schools would be impressed by the progress they have made of late.

He asserted: "There is still more work to do and we have identified a clear strategy with head teachers and governors to achieve this.

"The strategy is already paying dividends. Schools and the local authority are working in strong partnership as a family of schools to achieve the very best for the children and young people of the city."

Last month, Ofsted also carried out a week of inspections in Portsmouth, due to only 34 per cent of secondary school children there and 53 per cent of primary pupils attending a good or better school.

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