Ofsted inspectors in Portsmouth to help drive up standards

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OFSTED inspectors are visiting schools across Portsmouth this week as part of a bid to improve standards in the lowest-performing authorities in the country.

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

And as reported in The News, Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, announced last month that inspections would be carried out at the lowest-performing authorities to try and drive up standards.

This week, inspectors are visiting seven schools across the city – two secondary and five primary.

These include the City of Portsmouth Girls School, Priory School, Somers Park Primary and Manor Infant School.

But Councillor Rob Wood, cabinet member for children and education at the council, said the inspections have got to be seen as a positive step.

‘We want Ofsted to come in and help move things forward by being constructive,’ he said.

‘This is about welcoming them in to see the progress that has been made and to see how we can make more progress. They have given an outline of schools they are going to visit. They have rung around several schools to see if everything is up to scratch.’

It comes despite students achieving the best ever GCSE and Key Stage One results last year.

The inspections will be carried out just in the same way as individual inspections at schools are.

Other schools will also receive telephone calls to ask them how they feel about the performance of the local authority.

Currently, 66 per cent of all schools in Portsmouth are rated as good or better by Ofsted.

Six out of the city’s 10 mainstream secondary schools are good or outstanding – with St Edmunds and King Richard Schools moving from ‘requiring improvement’ to ‘good’ last summer.