PERSISTENTLY low GCSE results and patchy further education provision have landed the city’s children’s services with the second worst Ofsted grade.
The department has been given an ‘adequate’ rating for the second year in a row which means it ‘meets only minimum requirements’.
Ofsted’s annual review reported: ‘More than half of secondary schools remain no better than satisfactory and persistent school absence is consistently above average for similar ages.
‘Attainment at Key Stage four (GCSEs) is well below similar areas. The number of primary schools that are good or outstanding increased over the last year – however more than one in three schools remain satisfactory.
‘Half of the children’s centres inspected are only satisfactory. The quality of post-16 education provision overall remains mixed.’
Inspectors acknowledged the majority of childcare was good or better and the quality of early years settings were above the national average. They also praised the fostering service as ‘outstanding’.
Julian Wooster, director of children’s services, said: ‘The main issue is attainment. Heads and governors know that is the agenda.
‘We will provide intervention and support to ensure teaching and learning is good to outstanding.
‘The ambition over the next three years is for this authority to be outstanding.’