Schools bottom of the class in Ofsted report

Jolly Pirates reception class at Edlington Hilltop primary school. Picture: Marie Caley D4205MC
Jolly Pirates reception class at Edlington Hilltop primary school. Picture: Marie Caley D4205MC
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SCHOOLS in Doncaster are among some of the worst in the country, according to education watchdog Ofsted.

The authority’s secondary schools were ranked in the bottom ten nationally in a comprehensive study by chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, released yesterday.

And in his annual report, Sir Michael said that differing standards of education across the country were leading to “serious inequalities” for millions of children nationwide.

He said: “Why is it that a child living in Derby or Doncaster local authority areas has only half the chance of attending a good or better primary or secondary school compared with a child living in Wigan or Darlington?”
Doncaster was ranked the ninth worst performing local authority area in the country – with South Yorkshire neighbour Barnsley topping the list.

In his report, Sir Michael said it was “unacceptable” that children in Doncaster have only half the chance of going to a good secondary school as pupils in other parts of the country.

Just 43 per cent of secondary school pupils in the borough are in schools which are rated as good or outstanding – compared to a regional average of 67 per cent.

Local union officials have blamed the failings on a lack of resources and the Government’s drive to convert secondary schools to academies.

Doncaster NUT branch secretary, John Coward, said: “Instead of converting to academies, the training and resources should be made available to improve education standards.

“Teachers do an excellent job, working to full capacity and doing many hours more than they should. Constant cutbacks are not going to help improve standards.”

Doncaster independent councillor Martin Williams said: “Education in Doncaster is presented as a rose garden when in reality its full of weeds. The department needs looking at.”