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Bell: 'Not everything is rosy' at academies

David Bell, the chief inspector, has given his full backing to the Government's controversial academy scheme despite problems uncovered by Ofsted at some of the flagship schools.

Mr Bell admitted that "not everything in the garden is rosy" but praised the Government for trying to tackle long-standing educational failure in urban areas. "For too long, successive governments have wrung their hands in anguish at the state of city schools and hoped, often forlornly, that doing more of the same will bring about change.

"To be fair, some urban schools have improved dramatically. But too many have not. And that is what makes the academies programme so important.

"For the first time, a post-war government has attempted to bring about radical change, in a systematic way, to areas of the country facing the greatest educational need," Mr Bell said in an interview published on BBC News Online.

His comments came as Ofsted published its critical verdict on West London academy in Ealing, its 13th monitoring report on academy schools.

Mr Bell said that five academies inspected have been making good progress and most were at least satisfactory.

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