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Sandwell school 'working hard' to improve

Sandwell | News | Published:

Sandwell's education boss said today secondary schools in the borough were 'working very hard' to improve standards after it was revealed almost half were performing below the national average.

Improvements have already been made at primary schools in the borough, said cabinet member for children's services, Councillor Simon Hackett.

And he expects to see similar progress at secondary schools in future years.

Figures released this week by Ofsted showed that 46 per cent of secondary schools fall below the national benchmark of 72 per cent rated good or outstanding – a trend repeated across the Black Country and Staffordshire. The figures relate to the watchdog's crucial rating of the overall effectiveness of a school.

They show that only 54 per cent of schools in Sandwell hit this target.

But the statistics also showed Sandwell did not have a secondary school rated as inadequate – the bottom of the standards table. While figures released in December showed more pupils in Sandwell attend good or outstanding primary schools than anywhere else in the Black Country.

Councillor Hackett said: "Our primary school rating is much higher than our secondary scores and is above national levels and above other local boroughs

"So we are expecting to see the improvements we have made at primary level coming through to the secondary schools in the coming years.

"It should be remembered that our secondary school GCSE results have improved year on year for the last 10 years so we know schools are improving outcomes for children.

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"However, we know there are not enough secondary schools rated good or outstanding yet in Sandwell and we continue to work closely with all of our local authority maintained Secondary schools, supporting and challenging them to improve.

"We know there is work to be done and are working very hard to improve outcomes for children.

"We expect improved Ofsted results in the future and will be looking to see improvements in the academies too."

Pank Patel is headteacher at Wood Green Academy, in Wednesbury, which has been rated outstanding on three occasions, said the figures should not be the only way to mark performance and standards for pupils.

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He said standards were improving across the board and schools were working more closely together to share good practice

Figures showed that in Dudley the number of top rated schools is just 45 per cent, whilst the figure is 65 per cent in Walsall, 68 per cent in Staffordshire and 69 per cent in Wolverhampton.

Figures show that eighty-two per cent of youngsters in the borough attend top-rated primary schools, compared to 72 per cent in Dudley and 60 per cent in Walsall. In Wolverhampton the figure is just 56 per cent.

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