Schools buck new ratings

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Pupils in the East of England are among the least likely in the country to go to a school rated good or outstanding, according to a new Ofsted report.

Figures published yesterday show after having a better than average chance of attending a good or outstanding early years provider, children’s chances of going to a good primary school are among the lowest in the country.

This continues into the secondary stage, where the chance of going to a good or outstanding school declines further.

Bucking the regional trend, the statistics collected for 2013-to-2014 show 95 per cent of primary children in Bedford attend a good or outstanding school, making the borough the sixth best place out of 150 local authorities in the country.

This drops to 77 per cent for children attending good or outstanding secondary schools, down 2 per cent on the previous year, leaving the borough 67th in the country.

Central Bedfordshire ranks 24th out of 150 for primary education, with 89 per cent of children attending at least a good school, up four per cent from last year.

However, this drops to 72 per cent for secondary. But encouragingly, that percentage is 16 per cent higher than last year, with the authority ranking 92nd in the country.

Ofsted Director for the East of England Andrew Cook said:“There have been some improvements in the region since the last annual report.

“Inspectors have found primary schools in the East of England are getting better.

“Unfortunately, the chances are, when they go to secondary school, the quality of their education diminishes. And it gets worse when they leave school: the quality of further education is the worst in England.”

The report has also linked pupils’ success with the economic situation of their families.

Based on data from 2012-2013, children from the eastern region from low-income families achieve the lowest results at Key Stage 2 in reading, writing and maths, while GCSE results show only 32 percent of students from low income families achieve five A*-to-C grades.

Mr Cook said: “It is a waste of potential that a child in the most deprived area is three times more likely than a child in the wealthiest area to go to a school that is less than good.

“We will be working with school leaders in these areas to raise expectations and focus relentlessly on strong leadership with high quality teaching.”