SECONDARY schools in Bradford have been the most improved over the last school year in the region, Ofsted’s annual report has revealed.

There has been an 11 per cent increase in the number of Good or Outstanding secondary schools in the Bradford district since August 2017, outperforming every other local authority in Yorkshire & the Humber.

The vast improvement has lifted Bradford ahead of Doncaster and Barnsley in the tables for Yorkshire.

More than half of Bradford secondary schools are now Good or Outstanding, and while the figure is still well below the Yorkshire and national averages, it shows positive signs of improvement.

Early years provision in the region is also performing well, with 94 per cent of childminders and 95 per cent of nurseries or pre-schools in Yorkshire and the Humber being rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.

Cathy Kirby, Ofsted director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said “At secondary school level, the percentage of schools that are good or better dropped to 68 per cent, which is well below national average.

“While there is still much to do, Bradford has seen a high rate of improvement compared to last year.

“I am pleased to be able to report that early years provision in the region continues to give our youngest children the best start in life, with 94 per cent of childminders and 95 per cent of nurseries and pre-schools rated good or outstanding.”

Another positive for Bradford is the exclusion rate per pupil in Bradford secondary schools is below the national average.

In Bradford the rate of fixed period exclusions per pupil enrolments at secondary schools is 7.36 per cent, below the national average of 9.4 per cent, and way below the Yorkshire and the Humber average of almost 16 per cent.

By comparison, Doncaster and Barnsley, which have similar school ratings to Bradford, have 50.8 per cent and 44.96 per cent exclusion rates, respectively.

At primary school age, in Bradford the number of schools rated Good or Outstanding has remained the same in the past 12 months, with 74 per cent of schools achieving that rating.

Only Doncaster has a lower percentage in Yorkshire and the Humber. Bradford is eight per cent below the region average, and 13 per cent below the national average.

Bradford is, however, one of just three local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber not to experience a drop in the number of Good or Outstanding primary schools.

Bradford also remains below the national average in children reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by the end of Key Stage 2.

Councillor Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “It’s very good news that the number of Good or Outstanding secondary schools in our district has gone up by 11 per cent.

“This is the result of a lot of hard work from school leaders, teachers and the pupils themselves. We know there is more to do and we’re determined that we close the gap on the national average in all areas.

“We need everyone to work together to help schools achieve this: businesses, community groups, parents and young people all have a role to play.”