The schools that could do better

8 Feb 01
The gap between high and low performing schools is still too wide, Ofsted warned this week, following the publication of its annual report.

09 February 2001

Standards and Quality in Education 1999–2000 said the greatest improvement had been made by primary schools with disadvantaged intakes and where attainment was previously low.

In secondary schools, the biggest improvements have been recorded in schools already performing well.

However, the government's 'fresh start' initiative failed to impress the inspectors. Fourteen schools were closed and immediately replaced, with a different name and largely different staff but with the same pupils and buildings. But Ofsted said three of the fourteen had failed to improve and were put into special measures.

Chief Inspector Mike Tomlinson also pointed out that teacher shortages could jeopardise efforts to improve schools. Too many schools were being forced to depend on temporary staff or teachers without a subject specialism, he warned.

The National Union of Teachers described the report as 'fair'. General secretary Doug McAvoy said: 'Ofsted's warnings about the effects of teacher shortages echo the NUT's own warnings and should cause the government to end its complacency. These are positive messages which identify some of the difficulties teachers face.'


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