Inspection blitz could include Portsmouth schools

CLASSROOM Schools could be re-checked by inspectors
CLASSROOM Schools could be re-checked by inspectors
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SCHOOLS in Portsmouth could be inspected as part of a bid to improve standards in the worst improving authorities in the country.

Portsmouth City Council was rated 145th out of 152 local authorities as just 53 per cent of pupils attend ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ primary schools.

Now, Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, has said that inspections will be carried out at the lowest performing authorities.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, council leader, said he would welcome the visit.

‘Everybody has got a responsibility to make sure that kids are well educated.

‘I think we need to be absolutely clear that we are not satisfied with the results local kids are getting in schools.

‘We are working with all different schools to try to improve and the improvements are long standing over the past three years.

‘Each year we have been getting better.’

Councillor Ken Ferrett, Labour shadow spokesman for children and education said: ‘We have to look at where we are and be realistic about that.

‘Things are improving slowly but maybe the time has come to have some drastic action.

‘The schools do need some support as well.’

He added: ‘They are trying their best to improve the outcome for all the pupils.’

Councillor Neill Young, Conservative shadow spokesman for education added: ‘Portsmouth hasn’t been doing well for a while now so anything that will try and improve performance in our schools is welcome.

‘We are seeing some positives but in some areas of the city we aren’t seeing any great improvements in standards.’

Head of City Boys school Mike Smith said: ‘This government clearly doesn’t believe that councils can be trusted in any way shape or form.

‘It’s very ironic that part of the reason that many councils aren’t in a position to help schools where they need to improve is because of the drastic cuts that local authorities have received in the past 18 months.’