A wake-up call for all our schools

First published in Our View by

That Bradford district has been named as having the second worst performing secondary schools in the country in terms of Ofsted judgements makes uncomfortable reading for all who have any involvement in education.

It will come as a blow to parents and should act as a wake-up call to all involved in schools, from council bosses down.

Yes, there are particular factors that must be taken into account for this district, such as its extraordinary demographic, its fluid population, and its economic hardship. But there will be other areas across the UK with similar social and financial issues, and only one of them, Barnsley, has performed to a lower standard.

Bradford Council can point to the fact that they only brought education back in house around a year ago, and that the rate of improvement since is one of the highest in the country.

And it is fair to say that the district is light years from where it was ten years ago when it was handed to private company Education Bradford. Only one school in the district is deemed to be inadequate, although that is clearly one school too many – particularly for those who attend and their families.

But the fact is that parents are entitled to expect the highest possible standard of education for their children and the fact that only 31% of pupils are attending schools deemed ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ is simply unacceptable.

There are clearly some major issues that need to be addressed by schools and by Bradford Council to bring the district much closer to the ideal, which is that all children should be getting lessons that are far more than simply satisfactory, or in the worst case scenario, inadequate.

That is the very least our young people deserve.

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