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North West primary schools ‘among the best’

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editorial image

Primary schools and further education in the North West are among the best in England, according to a new report.

This year’s Ofsted annual report says 80 per cent of pupils in Lancashire are in a good or outstanding primary school, with 77 per cent in a good or outstanding secondary school.

County Coun Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “I am pleased with how Lancashire schools are performing at the moment, better than many other areas in the country.

“But I think it’s important to say we remain ambitious for our children and we think we can always do better.

“It is right that we recognise we are doing well but we won’t be resting on our laurels until 100 per cent of schools are good or outstanding - that has to be our aim.”

Tony Roberts, Lancashire’s membership secretary for the National Association of Headteachers, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the fact that 80 per cent of schools are good or better.

“And the schools who are having difficulties are getting very good support from the local authority, which is one reason why Lancashire only has five primary academies.”

But Mr Roberts said he thought there were “poor Ofsted teams” operating in the county. He said: “We don’t have a problem with being inspected, but schools have a right to be inspected by somebody who does a fair job.

“That’s becoming a big issue - it is putting a big strain on schools - they have no idea until an Ofsted inspector walks through the door as to whether they are going to get a fair crack of the whip. Schools are often given less than 24-hours’ notice and it means head teachers are finding it very difficult to plan their week if they are not sure if Ofsted is coming on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.”

 

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