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Lessons last a lifetime

The real story of education is told through the experiences of individual young people and the experiences of Jenna Bodaliker and Tim Goule and others like them powerfully testify to the lifelong legacy and impact that education has.

Inspection, too, plays a part in shaping the future life chances of young people by reporting frankly and fearlessly on the quality of education that is available to them all.

Ofsted's inspection principles are underpinned by the conviction that all children and young people are entitled to a high-quality, rich and enjoyable education that meets their individual needs.

Many schools are proving that persistence pays and significant improvements in standards and the quality of teaching and leadership and management that we have seen over 10 years have been maintained. However there is still more that we education professionals can and must do.

I have highlighted a number of issues and challenges that demand urgent attention including the worrying standstill in primary school test results, a developing gap between achievement in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science, and other subjects in primary schools and the continued gap in achievement between different groups of pupils, particularly between boys and girls and white boys from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Problems in some parts of the educational system are not helped by difficulties in the recruitment and retention of teachers. The education profession has always risen admirably to the challenges over the years, and I believe that by tackling persistent problems with renewed vigour we can work together to drive forward further improvements in the quality and standards of education in England.

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