Eight in 10 Lancashire schools ‘making the grade’ say inspectors

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Lancashire’s school are among the best in the country - but government watchdogs say some are not up to standard.

Latest statistics produced by the Government show that more than 85 per cent of the county’s schools, including academies, were rated good or outstanding by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

Of the county’s 629 schools 149 (24 per cent) were rated outstanding, and 391 (62 per cent) good.

However, 76 (12 per cent) required improvement and 13 (two per cent) were deemed inadequate.

The data relates to a period up to December 2014 but reveals that the authority, which is among the top third in the country, has one of the highest percentages of good or outstanding schools in the region and beats the national average. The percentage of those failing to make the grade – or delivering an inadequate service – is the same as both the national and regional averages.

However, critics said that changes to the inspection criteria over the last few years meant that schools have been judged differently.

The most recent inspections have seen the satisfactory category changed to “requires improvement”.

Simon Jones, county and national executive member for the National Union of Teachers, said: “The fact that over 85 per cent of our schools are good or outstanding is very good, especially given that Ofsted has continuously changed the goal posts over the past couple of years.”

Coun Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “To have four per cent more ‘outstanding’ schools than the England average is no mean achievement, as outstanding ratings certainly aren’t given lightly. I’m genuinely proud of our schools here in Lancashire.

“These figures clearly demonstrate the high quality of their staff and the commitment of pupils and families.

“We are working hard to fulfil our ambition that all our pupils attend a school which is rated as good or better, and we have an excellent track record in helping schools achieve this.”