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Top marks for town’s schools as figures show huge improvement

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

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STANDARDS at schools in Burton have dramatically improved in the space of a year, figures have shown.

Data released by Ofsted revealed that the number of schools judged to either require improvement or be inadequate in East Staffordshire has dropped by 11 per cent.

Those schools have now reached a level deemed acceptable by the watchdog, earning either a good or outstanding status.

It represents a huge upturn in fortunes for the borough’s schools.

Just 12 months ago, more than a third were judged to be not doing well enough, with that figure as high as 41 per cent in 2012.

That is now at 24 per cent, with the amount of outstanding schools unchanged at 11 per cent - but twice as high as five years ago.

It is a similar theme in South Derbyshire with schools judged to be not doing well enough falling by five per cent and outstanding schools up three per cent.

Last year appears to have been a watershed moment, when tensions between schools and Oftsed and the Government reached an all-time high.

Changes in grading which saw ‘satisfactory’ become ‘requires improvement’ were widely criticised, but schools now appear to be moving in the right direction.

Staffordshire County Council’s education chief Ben Adams said: “Schools are certainly improving, but we recognise there is further work to do if we are to achieve our vision of every child in the county having the opportunity to attend a good or outstanding school.”

While Tower View Primary School, in Winshill, still has a ‘requires improvement’ tag, its fortunes have improved dramatically under the stewardship of new head Andrew Ridout.

He hopes it will be among those that are ‘good’ in the near future.

He said: “It’s brought a positive feel to the school. I feel we are on our way to becoming a good school and then we want to look further to becoming an outstanding school which I think we can be.”

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