Ofsted annual report: nine key points

Schools are improving, but they still do not serve disadvantaged or talented pupils as well as they might

Adi Bloom

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  1. Schools are considerably better than they have been
    Across the country there are 1.8 million more pupils in good or outstanding maintained schools than there were in 2010.
     
  2. Primary schools have improved significantly
    Ninety per cent of primary schools are now good or outstanding – up from 69 per cent in 2012.
     
  3. As have early-years settings
    Ninety-one per cent of early-years providers are now good or outstanding – an increase of 22 percentage points since 2011.
     
  4. …which particularly benefits disadvantaged children
    Ofsted has previously highlighted the slow rate of improvement between the achievements of disadvantaged five year olds and their more advantaged peers. Between 2014 and 2015, this gap suddenly narrowed, and is now 3.5 percentage points smaller than in 2007.
     
  5. But all schools are struggling to recruit teachers
    In the year from November 2014 to November 2015, more than 43,000 qualified teachers left the state sector. This is equivalent to one in 10 teachers leaving the profession: the highest proportion for 10 years, according to the report.
     
  6. Immigrant pupils do well in England's schools
    England is unusual among many other countries for the high performance of its immigrant pupils. The report states: “This trend is now so ingrained that it is assumed that children of immigrants always outperform other pupils. But, in most of Europe, that is not the case. In many countries, they do worse than children of non-immigrants do.”
     
  7. …but they are nationally divided
    The gap between the performance of secondary schools in the North and the Midlands and those in the South and East of England continues to widen. More than a quarter of secondaries in the North and the Midlands are still inadequate. The quality of education in the more geographically and economically isolated parts of the country – including coastal areas – remains a concern.
     
  8. This problem tends to start at the top
    Nearly three-quarters of secondary schools judged inadequate for leadership were in the North and the Midlands.
     
  9. …and disproportionately affects clever pupils
    Last year, the Ofsted annual report showed that the North-South divide affected pupils eligible for free school meals more than their peers. This year, this is also true of the most able pupils, who are less likely to reach A* or A grades at GCSE in the North or the Midlands than elsewhere.

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Adi Bloom

Adi Bloom is Tes comment editor

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