OFSTED’s first-ever South West annual report says the proportion of good or outstanding schools in the region has increased.
The annual report by the education watchdog, published this morning, includes regional sections for the first time. It gives the proportion of pupils in the South West attending a good or better school as just above the national level.
But despite the improving picture it says too many children and young people from poorer backgrounds do not do well enough. In more affluent areas, as well as in more economically deprived communities, pupils eligible for free school meals do not achieve as well as their peers.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted’s chief inspector, said that overall schools and colleges across the country were performing better than they were a year ago but “schools, colleges and other providers must have greater ambition if we are to compete successfully in the ‘global race’.
He added: “I want educational opportunities open to the most fortunate children to be available to all.”
In Somerset 80 per cent of primary school pupils attend good or outstanding schools and 67 per cent of secondary school pupils attend schools rated as good or outstanding.
In the South West more than 47,000 more primary pupils are now taught in good or outstanding schools. Attainment in the Early Years Foundation Stage and at the end of both Key Stage 1 and 2 was found to be above the national level.
In contrast only 1,100 more secondary school pupils in the region are now taught in good or outstanding schools. Worryingly, the percentage of pupils gaining five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and mathematics, was below the national level.
The large majority of further education and skills providers in the South West (and all sixth form colleges) are rated good or outstanding. Apprenticeship success rates continue to be almost three per cent above the England level.