Schools with deprived pupils less likely to improve, Ofsted figures show

Schools with more disadvantaged students are less likely to increase their grade to 'good' or 'outstanding' than those schools with pupils from affluent areas

Adi Bloom

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Schools with high proportions of deprived pupils are less likely to improve to "good" or "outstanding" than those with affluent pupils, according to Ofsted data published today.

The Ofsted document states: "Of schools inspected this year that had previously been judged to require improvement, those with high proportions of pupils from deprived areas were less likely to improve than those with pupils from more affluent areas."

The figures also show that more than half – 55 per cent – of schools that currently have a rating of "requires improvement" have high proportions of pupils from disadvantaged areas.

Overall, a lower proportion of schools previously judged to require improvement received a higher rating at their inspection this year than in any other previous year. This was true both at primary and secondary level.

A higher proportion of schools – 11 per cent – also dropped to "inadequate" this year.

The figures, published today, which include data for inspections up to 31 August this year, also show a small increase in the proportion of secondary schools rated "good" or "outstanding": from 78 per cent last year to 79 per cent this year.

Grades remain higher for primary schools – 90 per cent "good" or "outstanding" – than for secondaries.

The proportion of pupil-referral units rated "good" or "outstanding" also improved, from 86 per cent to 88 per cent, as did the proportion of special schools, from 93 per cent to 94 per cent.

'Hard work'

But, overall, the proportion of "good" or "outstanding" schools remained unchanged since last year: 89 per cent of schools reached this level.

Nine per cent of schools were judged to require improvement at their most recent inspection. This represented a small decrease since last year, when the proportion was 10 per cent.

In response to these figures, the school standards minister Nick Gibb said: “We want every child to have access to a good school place – one that provides them with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the future.

“Thanks to changes made by the government and the hard work of teachers, there are now 1.9 million more pupils in 'good' or 'outstanding' schools than in August 2010.”

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Adi Bloom

Adi Bloom is Tes comment editor

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