Skip to main content

Ofsted: more students attend 'inadequate' secondaries, but primaries 'forge ahead'

About 170,000 students attend inadequate secondary schools, up by 70,000 from two years ago, Ofsted has claimed.

The watchdog argued today that although primaries are “continuing to forge ahead” in their performance, improvements in secondaries have “stalled”.

At the launch of Ofsted’s annual report, chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw revealed that the proportion of good and outstanding secondary schools has remained unchanged from last year.

But the proportion of secondary schools rated as inadequate in their most recent inspection had doubled from 3 per cent in 2012 to 6 per cent this year.

Primaries, Sir Michael told the launch event in London, had continued to improve as a result of higher-quality of teaching, good behaviour among pupils and strong professional development among teachers. 

Struggling schools, he said, are “failing because they haven’t got the essentials right: governance and oversight is weak, leadership is poor, misbehaviour goes unchallenged and teaching is indifferent.

“If our education system is to continue to progress we need to concentrate on the basics of why schools and colleges fail and why they succeed.”

Weak schools are often left “isolated”, Sir Michael said. “These schools are deprived of effective support when times are bad. They are left unchallenged when they flirt with complacency. In many cases they are totally insulated from effective governance. They are bereft of good leadership and teaching practice.”

Related stories:

CBI: Ofsted should focus on pupils' 'holistic' development – December 2014

Ofsted should inspect outstanding schools too, say heads – December 2014

Ofsted data reveals 'weakness and inconsistency' of inspections, headteachers say – November 2014

‘Ofsted and the DfE must take a look at themselves before analysing how we manage our workload’ – November 2014

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you