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News - 22 January 2013

Under-performing areas are to be targeted by OFSTED.

Inspections will be brought forward in six regions following a statement by Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw in which he stated that the performance gap between some areas is "completely unacceptable".

Speaking on BBC radio 4, Sir Michael said there was a "huge difference in school standards between local authorities," even when comparing areas that had similar populations and levels of deprivation.

Ofsted identified several areas as under-performing in its annual report last November, saying these were places where too few schools were classed as either good or outstanding.

The areas included Coventry, Derby and Doncaster.

Peter Ham, Head of Schools and Charities at ABDS comments:
“Inspectors will descend on targeted areas in a set week and heads will be asked whether they are getting enough support from their local council. If Ofsted is not satisfied, it plans to go into town halls to inspect school improvement services for the first time, it is understood, although this change will require consultation.”

As a group, councils say they agree improvements are needed in some areas, but that their powers are hampered by bureaucracy and have been restricted by the increasing numbers of schools becoming academies, which are semi-independent and are outside of council control.

In November Ofsted launched a League table ranking local authorities according to inspectors' ratings of schools.

Sir Michael also said that in some areas, there was a less than 50% chance of a good or outstanding school compared with more than 90% in others.

Ofsted's annual report also said schools in England were getting better, with 70% of schools now rated good or outstanding compared with 64% five years ago.

If you need any help and advice on Schools and or Charities, contact ABDS to discuss how we can help.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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