EAZs fail to improve standards

8 Mar 01
An Ofsted report published this week revealed that six first-round Education Action Zones had failed to raise educational standards in secondary schools and, apart from 'small-scale' activities, produced little impact.

09 March 2001

Inspectors found the EAZs in Blackburn, Halifax, Birmingham, Southwark in London, Salford and Weston-super-Mare had marginally more effect on primary schools.

An Ofsted spokeswoman told Public Finance: 'The secondary schools in these zones generally have a considerable amount to do to bring standards up to national level and have a higher-than-national proportion with serious weaknesses and special measures.

'The weight of activities chosen by the zones has tended toward primary rather than secondary schools.'

The EAZs, which receive £750,000 a year from the government, are partnerships between schools and businesses and aim to develop innovative educational strategies.

But according to Ofsted, the six EAZs did not offer fresh ideas but built on existing local and national initiatives.

Inspectors did say the six zones, which were among the first 25 EAZs set up by the government in 1998/99, had overcome early difficulties to make some reasonable progress.

School standards minister Estelle Morris welcomed the Ofsted report. 'These inspection reports show the important strides that have been made and also highlight some areas that need to be developed in future years,' she said.

'Zones are already working to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of their activities.'


Did you enjoy this article?