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Increase in number of Kent schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted

By Paul Francis

More children are attending good or outstanding schools in Kent, according to a report published today.

Ofsted’s annual report says that Kent has seen another increase in the number of primary and secondary schools judged to be performing well.

However, Medway has seen a drop in the number of secondary schools rated highly, with a fall of 6% to 82% - placing it below the regional average of 83%.

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Ofsted's annual report has been released. Library image.
Ofsted's annual report has been released. Library image.

There was an increase in the number of primary schools in Medway doing well, with 86% rated by Ofsted in its top categories - a 3% rise, but below the south east average of 91%.

In Kent, 89% of secondary schools were deemed to be good or outstanding - placing it second only to Surrey out of 19 areas. And 92% of primary schools were rated in the top Ofsted categories - 2% more than the previous year.

When it came to the performance of children, Medway saw 58% of pupils achieving the expected standards at Key Stage 2.

That is below the south east average of 62% and places the Towns 13th out of 19 areas in the region.

In Kent, 64% achieved the expected standard, placing it fifth out of 19.

More children are now going to good or outstanding schools
More children are now going to good or outstanding schools

At secondary level, provisional data shows that under the new EBacc measure, 24.7% of children in Kent secured five or more GCSEs in the core subjects including maths and English, against a south east average of 23.6%. In Medway, the figure was 22.6%.

County education chiefs welcomed the report. Cllr Roger Gough, KCC cabinet member for education, said: “These results show Kent pupils have access to some of the best schools in England and staff, governors, pupils and parents should be very proud of their achievements."

"Kent County Council has strong relationships with all schools and multi-academy trusts across the county embracing areas such as school place planning, special educational needs (SEN) and early help. We offer school improvement support and it is clearly a decision for each trust as to whether they commission that."

Ofsted South East Director Chris Russell said he remained worried about the gap between the less well-off and their peers.

He said: “My concerns remain over outcomes for disadvantaged youngsters. Too many do not get the free early years support they are entitled to and fall behind in basic skills such as reading.

"They do not catch up at primary or secondary school and emerge without basic qualifications. And many then struggle to find good quality education or training at post-16.

“Often access to opportunity still depends on where young people live. In the more deprived areas in the region there are still too few good schools to drive up standards and, while more are becoming academies, this is not yet solving the problem."

Amid the good ratings, Ofsted identified nine schools in Kent and Medway of 130 nationally that had not been rated good for ten years or more.

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman said the schools in question had received help but for some reason that had not led to any improvement.

“What we’re seeing is that an enormous amount of help has been pointed at these schools in different ways but somehow it doesn’t seem to be hitting the spot, it’s not necessarily getting through and changing what happens in the workplace," she said.

“We shouldn’t cheat any child out of the future they could and should be aiming for.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We are targeting the areas that need the most support through our opportunity areas. By investing £280m over the next two years to target resources at the schools most in need to improve school performance and deliver more good school places."

The schools identified as not receiving a good rating since 2005 by Ofsted in Kent and Medway are:

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, Sheppey

Tree Tops Primary Academy, Maidstone

High Weald Academy, Tunbridge Wells

The Robert Napier School, Medway

Temple Grove Academy, Tunbridge Wells

Milton Court Primary Academy, Sittingbourne

Kingfisher Community Primary School, Chatham

St Gregory's Catholic Primary School, Margate

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