MORE than a third of primary schools in East Staffordshire are judged to be either inadequate or requiring improvement, damning figures have revealed.
The borough is among the worst performing areas in the county in terms of primary school standards, with more than 35 per cent in need of improvement according to Ofsted.
But the body has been slammed by the chairman of the National Association of Head Teachers - Burton head Bernadette Hunter.
Although accepting the figures made for alarming reading, Mrs Hunter, head at the William Shrewsbury Primary School, in Stretton, said the figures could also be partly attributed to changes to the way Ofsted grades schools.
Ofsted’s stricter stance on school standards meant that last year, schools formerly deemed to be ‘satisfactory’ by the body became schools requiring improvement.
Eleven schools in the borough are currently classed as ‘requiring improvement’ with two branded ‘inadequate’.
Rather than improving performances at these schools, Mrs Hunter believes the changes could have a negative impact and colour the work that goes on within them, giving parents a perception than they are worse than they actually are.
Mrs Hunter told the Mail: “We need to remember is that last year Ofsted changed the grading system so that schools that were previously deemed to be satisfactory - i.e doing a good enough job - were then deemed to require improvement.
“Despite the fact that 35 per cent of schools might have that grading, it doesn’t mean they are bad schools, it means they still need some work to provide a better level of education
“The change in terminology has led to a lack of confidence in the system. It was completely unnecessary and has a potential to have a damaging impact on schools.”