Higher percentage of schools doing well in Suffolk but council misses 85% Ofsted goal

Children's attendance in class is important, education chiefs say

Children's attendance in class is important, education chiefs say - Credit: PA

More Suffolk schools are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ than a year ago but the county council has failed to hit its own target.

The latest Ofsted figures this month for the number of schools rated positively has hit 79% – a 5% improvement on the previous year.

However, education bosses, which want all schools to be good or outstanding by January 2017, have not met their 85% target this month.

Gordon Jones, cabinet member for education and skills, blamed Ofsted for changing the rate at which they inspect schools. He said around 20 schools, currently ‘requires improvement’, were due to be inspected by the end of 2015.

Ofsted have said they always aim to keep to their inspection framework when setting dates to examine schools.

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Mr Jones said: “Really significant progress is being made towards the county council’s ambitious objective that all children in Suffolk can attend a good or outstanding school. This is a major element of the Raising the Bar programme that will ensure every child can achieve their full potential.

“Initially our projected target for January 2016 was for 85% of schools to be rated good or outstanding; this prediction was based on the evidence available at the time, including the rate at which Ofsted would inspect schools previously judged as requires improvement.

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“Whilst I recognise the pressures on Ofsted and understand why these schools have not yet been re-inspected it has undoubtedly impacted upon our chances of hitting our target.”

He remains confident of hitting the 100% target next year. Ofsted now re-inspects requires improvement schools within six terms of the previous visit, previously it was four.

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