Doncaster worst in region for pupils in good or outstanding schools - Ofsted

Doncaster Civic Offices. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 02-01-15 Civic Offices MC 1
Doncaster Civic Offices. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 02-01-15 Civic Offices MC 1

Fewer school pupils in Doncaster go to good or outstanding schools than anywhere else in Yorkshire, according to new figures.

Education watchdog Ofsted’s annual report showed that in the town, 37 per cent of students went to a good or outstanding secondary school.



At primary level, 64 per cent of pupils went to schools rated at that standard, which was an increase of six percentage points on the previous year.

Doncaster ranked bottom on both counts among local authority areas in the north east, Yorkshire and Humber.

Nick Hudson, regional director for Ofsted in the region, said performance across the area was stubbornly low compared to other parts of the country.

He told The Star: “Doncaster is particularly worrying because it has got the lowest percentage of good or outstanding primary and secondary schools across the whole of Yorkshire and Humber.

“In terms of the reasons for that, it would go very much with leadership because that is what makes the biggest difference.

“I’m not just talking about in schools but within local authorities, with multi academy trusts. Getting that right will make the biggest difference to improving schools.”

Doncaster Council pointed out that the town’s secondary schools are all academies - which puts it in the ‘difficult’ position of being accountable for young people’s educational outcomes but not being able to ‘intervene in underperforming academies’ as that is the responsibility of the Government’s regional schools commissioner.

Damian Allen, director of learning, opportunities and skills, said: “We are disappointed the rate of improvement is not as rapid as we would like and are working hard, where we can, to support and challenge schools in a number of key areas.

“Recent inspections indicate schools are on a trajectory to improve, which will lead to an increase in the proportion of good or better schools.”

He said schools and academies were reporting problems with the national shortage of teachers, which impacts on standards.

He added: “The council is already working with schools and academies to identify a number of additional initiatives to improve quality and standards this year.”

In Sheffield, the number of pupils attending a good or outstanding secondary school stands at 79 per cent, an increase of 22 percentage points compared to the previous year.

However at primary level, the city ranked fourth worst in the region.

There were 72 per cent of primary pupils attending a good or outstanding school, an increase of two percentage points.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “We are proud of the work we have done in partnership with schools and academies to increase the number of secondary schools which are good and outstanding here in Sheffield and will be working to increase this again.

“We are already seeing more good and outstanding schools at primary levels and are delighted we are moving in the right direction here.”

The council said there had been an 11 per cent improvement in primary schools deemed good or outstanding in the last three years.

In Rotherham, 90 per cent of secondary pupils go to a good or outstanding school, and 76 per cent of primary pupils do so, with the latter being an improvement of two percentage points.

In Barnsley, 59 per cent of secondary pupils went to schools with that rating, and 81 per cent of younger students did.

The second mark was also an improvement of two pecentage points.