COUNCIL chiefs have insisted they will not hesitate to make changes at schools in Burton which are failing to show signs of improvement.
Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins warned school bosses that the authority would ‘act’ at schools that aren’t meeting expectations after the Mail revealed that more than a third of primary schools in East Staffordshire are currently rated as inadequate or requiring improvement.
He insisted the council was working hard to improve the fortunes of the borough’s schools, but insisted he needed strong head teachers and governors in order to deliver improvements.
The chairman of the National Association of Head Teachers – Burton-based Bernadette Hunter – leapt to the defence of schools which had been judged as requiring improvement, accusing Ofsted as being too harsh in its rating of schools.
But there was no such defence from Councillor Atkins who said he would need to see signs of improvements at schools whichh aren’t getting results.
He said: “Every child in Staffordshire deserves the very best education to enable them to have the best opportunity in life and the county council is working hard to improve performance in all schools.
“We normally achieve this by working closely with the head teacher, governors and staff to give them the support they need to improve.
“However, where improvement isn’t quick or far-reaching enough we will not hesitate to act and will hold to account governors and heads who are not showing the leadership and improvement parents and local people would expect to see.”
Following the revelation that 35 per cent of schools had been judged as needing to improve, Mrs Hunter claimed the figure had been distorted by changes to the way Ofsted graded schools, meaning the majority of that figure would have been labelled as ‘satisfactory’ this time last year.