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Three out of ten Essex primaries are failing to make the grade
6:00am Friday 13th December 2013 in Local News
THREE out of ten primary schools in Essex are not good enough, a report has revealed.
Ofsted’s annual report shows the county is near the bottom of the class when it comes to the quality of primary schools.
Just 70 per cent are rated good or outstanding, leaving Essex ranked 126th out of 150 education authorities.
The remaining 30 per cent, nearly 150 schools, are in special measures or have been told they require improvement.
Ray Gooding, county councillor responsible for education, said the authority recognises many primary schools are lagging behind.
Mr Gooding has issued 21 warning notices in recent months, with 19 of them going to primary schools.
He said: “We have recognised this for some time – certainly since I took over the portfolio in May this year, and it’s something I really want to get to grips with.
“It’s a significant problem and I think some of the things we’re putting in place are addressing it.
“We have issued warning notices to a number of schools, 21 in total, that have significantly fallen short of expectations.
“In other schools we have imposed interim executive boards that have replaced governing bodies to make sure the management of the school moves forward very quickly.”
Mr Gooding said many of the primary schools targeted are in the south of the Basildon district.
He said he is not just targeting schools highlighted as struggling by Ofsted, but those identified by council officers as requiring improvement.
Mr Gooding said the number of good or outstanding primary schools in Essex rose by 10 per cent last year.
The report revealed 72 per cent of Essex secondary schools are good or outstanding, up from 63 per cent. Essex is ranked 91st out of 150 authorities.
Sean Harford, Ofsted’s regional director, said schools in Essex and the East of England are lagging behind much of the rest of the country and schools are not improving quickly enough.
Colchester and Clacton parliamentary constituencies were highlighted as areas where fewer than two-thirds of schools have strong enough leadership and management.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted’s chief inspector, said there was a culture of casual acceptance of misbehaviour in the classroom.
He said: “We need to talk a lot more about the culture in our schools and the expectations we should have of our children.
“Too many of our schools suffer from poor behaviour and high levels of disruptive behaviour.
“Lessons should not be undermined by background chatter, inattention and horseplay.
“This is a million miles away from the sort of cultures we see in some of the high-performing Asian countries.”
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