12:32pm Wednesday 11th December 2013
MORE than 80 per cent of children in Worcestershire attend schools ranked as 'good' or 'outstanding', a new report reveals.
Education watchdog Ofsted today released its annual report, which showed 83 per cent of primary schools and 81 per cent of secondary schools in the county achieved the top two rankings.
However, Ofsted's chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said children were still siffering from too much mediocre teaching and weak leadership, and said disruption and inattention in classrooms had been tolerated for too long.
He also said schools presented a "tale of two nations", with children born with the same abilities facing "widely different prospects" depending on where they were born.
Yet Sir Michael said schools and colleges across the country were performing better than they were a year ago overall.
Children now have a better chance than ever of attending a good or outstanding school, he said, while the further education and skills sector has “raised its game” since major concerns were highlighted in last year's report.
However, the report also concluded that a number of factors are impeding educational progress, including:
* too much mediocre teaching and weak leadership
* regional variations in the quality of education
* the significant underachievement of children from low-income families, particularly White children
He said: "Serious challenges remain and all the while, many of our international competitors are improving at a faster rate than we are.
"It is not an exaggeration to report that the story of our schools and colleges today is a tale of two nations.
"Children from similar backgrounds with similar abilities, but who happen to be born in different regions and attend different schools and colleges, can end up with widely different prospects because of the variable quality of their education.
"A good lesson is one where children are attentive, challenged, acquire knowledge and make progress. Our judgements about the quality of teaching are predicated not on the style of teaching, but on the amount of useful learning that takes place in the lesson.
"But classrooms must be orderly places. Around 700,000 pupils attend schools where behaviour needs to improve. Unless this changes, teachers will struggle to create an environment in which all children learn well."
Sir Michael also announced that from January, inspectors will make ‘no-notice’ visits to schools where they have identified poor behaviour as a particular concern.
And he called on the government to consider a return to more formal external testing of children at the end of Key Stage 1 to make sure every child at this formative age is making the necessary progress.
The Annual Report is based on the findings of more than 8,500 inspections carried out during 2012/13 of schools, adult learning, skills and colleges.
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