Bradley Simmons

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Ofsted

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Ofsted director Bradley Simmons stated the efficiency of faculties throughout Swindon was a “trigger for severe concern”

Youngsters in Swindon are being failed by faculties “at each stage”, in line with schooling inspectors.

In a letter to Swindon Borough Council, head lecturers and native MPs, Ofsted’s Bradley Simmons stated the city’s faculties have been a “trigger for severe concern”.

He stated instant motion was wanted and urged “all concerned” to unite so pupils may get the “schooling they deserve”.

The council stated the criticism was misplaced, and work was ongoing to enhance requirements the place vital.

The letter was revealed following an Ofsted inspection of the borough council’s preparations for supporting faculty enchancment.

‘Lowest performers’

In it Mr Simmons stated he had raised considerations with the borough council “on a minimum of three separate events”.

He stated Swindon was within the “backside 10 native authorities nationally” in phonics in 2016, whereas the city’s seven-year-olds have been the “joint lowest performers in studying within the South West”.

At Key Stage 2, he stated solely 44% of 11-year-olds reached the “new anticipated commonplace in studying, writing and arithmetic”, whereas at GCSE stage solely 17.three% of pupils – in comparison with 57% nationally – achieved the English Baccalaureate.

“Pupils in Swindon are being failed at each stage. Major faculty efficiency which had beforehand proven a optimistic pattern of enchancment in Swindon is now a priority,” he stated.

“Current inspections of 5 secondary faculties within the city additionally point out a pattern of decline, with solely considered one of these faculties being rated good.

“Of the others, one went from good to ‘requires enchancment’, one failed to enhance from requires enchancment and two went from requires enchancment to insufficient.”

‘Harsh and unfair’

In an open letter response, the borough council stated it felt the info launched had been “used selectively”.

It stated that claims it had failed its pupils have been “overly harsh and certainly unfair”.

The authority stated phonics take a look at outcomes have been decrease than it will have preferred on the finish of 12 months one, however “kids have caught up and are above the nationwide common” by the tip of 12 months two.

It stated 11-year-olds have been assembly the “nationwide common for studying, arithmetic and grammar”, however admitted writing outcomes have been “decrease this 12 months”.

And regardless of it sharing Ofsted’s “considerations about secondary schooling”, the “GCSE outcomes have continued to enhance”.

“By making his views so public on this means, Mr Simmons will need to have recognised the demotivating influence they might have on lecturers,” the authority stated.

“The truth is it has actually angered and irritated many head lecturers of excellent and excellent faculties who’re doing a wonderful job.”

North Swindon Tory MP Justin Tomlinson stated it was “very disappointing information”.

“I’ll do all I can assist each Swindon Borough Council and the faculties highlighted to ship instant enhancements,” he stated.