Ofsted vaunts best-ever teaching standards

7 Feb 02
Education watchdog Mike Tomlinson praised teachers for improving the quality of education on offer in England's schools as he published his annual report for 2000/01.

08 February 2002

Tomlinson, chief inspector of schools and head of Ofsted, revealed that the proportion of teaching judged to be good or better had reached its highest ever level, in his final report before retiring.

Among primaries, the proportion of schools offering teaching considered good or better has risen to 74%, with a further 21% rated satisfactory. In nearly half of all primaries, inspectors had not found any unsatisfactory lessons.

Overall, slightly fewer than one lesson in 25 was considered poor.

But progress on the government's literacy and numeracy strategies has stalled, threatening its pledge that at least 80% of 11-year-olds would reach level four in key stage two English tests by 2002, and 75% in mathematics over the same period.

Tomlinson said the targets were 'still within reach, but this year's figures are a clear warning that the task should not be underestimated'.

Secondary schools also improved the quality of education provided. Some 80% of them offered teaching judged to be good or better.

But standards of behaviour had shown no improvement on the previous year, and were still considered poor in one school in 12. Attendance levels also fell slightly to 90.3%. Tomlinson ascribed this in part to parents allowing their children to miss school.

'Schools, and in particular teachers, need and deserve better support from some parents,' he said. He revealed that about 10,000 teenagers were 'missing' from state schools and could be turning to crime or working in the black economy.

The teaching unions gave a broad welcome to Tomlinson's findings. Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: 'This should send a message to the prime minister that there is a good deal of good work going on in our schools and that the vast majority of our teachers are deserving of praise and congratulations.'


Did you enjoy this article?