Schools must raise standards

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The director of Ofsted for the east of England has said Peterborough needs to improve the teaching at city schools.

Paul Brooker, Ofsted’s regional director, made the comments after Peterborough finished second bottom of the table nationally for results at the end of primary school.

The number of primary schools receiving good or outstanding Ofsted grades also fell - although secondary schools did do better, with 100 per cent receiving one of the top two grades. Mr Brooker said: “Standards are not good enough. The challenge is to raise aspirations and get quality teachers. Peterborough is behind where it should be.”

Mr Brooker said there were schools which had good teaching. But he said: “Generally pupils are not finishing primary school at a high enough level. They are making progress at secondary school, and inspectors can see that. There are a set of circumstances in Peterborough that offer challenges - the amount of in year admission, pressure on places and churn, that does make it difficult to raise standards.”

Councillor Lynne Ayres, cabinet member for education, skills and university, said work was well under way to improve standards. She said:” The review that I published in August concluded that Peterborough faces what can only be described as a unique set of challenges, meaning schools face more of a challenge than their counterparts in other areas of the county to achieve expected standards for pupils.

“That said, I concluded that there are fundamental ways we can all work differently and more effectively. Crucially I said there is a need for us all to unite and work together to address the issues that we face and to ensure a bold educational strategy across the whole authority area.”

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “It really is time to dispense with the excuses and what parents really want to know is what is being done to improve schools where they are failing.”

Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya did not respond to the PT’s questions before going to press..