BARNSLEY has the worst performing secondary schools in the country, according to an annual report by Ofsted, the Government’s inspection watchdog.
Only 20 per cent of the authority’s schools are rated as good or outstanding, despite a massive spending programme which has seen every secondary in the town rebuilt.
Doncaster is also in the bottom 10, while Sheffield and Rotherham fare better – in both authorities, over 60 per cent of schools are in the top two grades.
The latest school league tables reveal only one Barnsley secondary – Penistone Grammar – had more than 50 per cent of pupils attaing five GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and maths, the Government’s preferred yardstick.
Four secondaries had pass rates of under 10 per cent – Carlton, Priory, Willowgarth and Wombwell.
Ofsted has appointed a regional troubleshooter to drive up standards.
Nick Hudson, who is moving from Wigan, one of the top 10 education authorities in the country, will be in charge of the whole of Yorkshire and Humber.
He will head teams of inspectors who will focus on challenging and supporting schools, colleges and academies which are not meeting required standards.
And he will be putting pressure on Barnsley’s new Advanced Learning Centres – the newly named secondaries – to improve pupil attainment more quickly.
Coun Tim Cheetham, Barnsley Council’s cabinet spokesman for Children Young People and Families, said: “We acknowledge the comments on the educational performance of schools in Barnsley contained in HMCI’s Annual report. “Whilst sharing the concerns expressed in relation to secondary schools we also note the significant and sustained improvement in both our Early Years provision and primary schools.
“Ofsted inspections show that currently 76 per cent of this provision is judged to be good or outstanding.”
He added the department for education recognised the authority had taken swift and decisive action to redress the situation in secondary schools.
* Percentage of pupils in good or outstanding primary schools:
* Percentage of pupils in good or outstanding secondary schools: