Three local education authorities have been added to the list of those to be inspected this year by the Office for Standards in Education. They are Kingston upon Hull, where school exam results at 16 are about half the national average, Norfolk and the London borough of Newham. A fourth is to be announced shortly.
According to OFSTED, a factor in the selection of the three was worse than average exam results. In Norfolk, 44.6 per cent of fifth-formers gained five or more higher grade GCSEs in 1997. The comparable figure for Newham is 33.4 per cent. The national average is 45.1 per cent.