Peterborough is ‘way behind’ others on education says Ofsted director

Terry Reynolds and Gary Perkins from PCC Education Authority with John Holdich and Eric Winstone  at meeting at the Town Hall EMN-160709-160008009
Terry Reynolds and Gary Perkins from PCC Education Authority with John Holdich and Eric Winstone at meeting at the Town Hall EMN-160709-160008009
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The regional director of Ofsted has said Peterborough is ‘lagging a long way behind’ other authorities in the area for standards in schools.

Paul Brooker, Ofsted’s East of England director, said other authorities in the region were dealing with challenges better than Peterborough was.

He made the claims as the annual Education and Skills report was released for the East of England.

But Gary Perkins, assistant director for education for Peterborough City Council, said the number of pupils going to good or better schools - as rated by Ofsted - was one of the highest in the country, and work was being done to improve standards.

Earlier this year Peterborough was ranked at the bottom of league tables for primary school achievement.

Mr Brooker said: “There is a positive picture in general for the East of England, but there are two or three authorities where standards are lagging a long way behind.”

Mr Brooker said attainment in Peterborough was low across the board - although improvements were being seen at secondary school level.

He said:” At key stage four, Peterborough has made one of the biggest improvements - although it is starting at a low level. The authority has raised issues (such as pupil churn and English not being a first language) with us, but others are meeting those issues better than Peterborough.”

Mr Brooker also said the number of schools getting good or better Ofsted reports seemed ‘inflated’ compared to exam results.

The report said 91 per cent of primary pupils and 92 per cent of secondary schools went to a school rated good or better by Ofsted.

Mr Perkins said: “This report highlights that we’re one of the best in the country for the number of schools judged good or outstanding by Ofsted, however the city’s attainment figures need rapid improvement.

“We continue to work closely with city schools and their governing bodies to ensure they are taking steps to raise attainment and there is lots of good work underway. Unfortunately it is too soon to see the results of this work.”