Derbyshire secondary schools ‘not good enough’

Year 11 pupils taking exams (Credit: David Hurst)
Year 11 pupils taking exams (Credit: David Hurst)

The quality of secondary education in Derbyshire has been branded ‘not good enough’ by education bosses.

Ofsted’s annual report shows that in Derbyshire just 53 per cent of pupils are in good or outstanding secondary schools. The national average is 77 per cent. This figure is lower than any other county in the East Midlands, and almost 30 per cent less than Nottinghamshire which has 82 per cent of pupils in good or outstanding schools.

Derbyshire is one of only 16 local authorities in England where less than 60 per cent of pupils attend secondary schools that are good or better and which have lower than national levels of attainment and progress at GCSE.

Chris Russell, Ofsted’s East Midlands Regional Director said: “Educational outcomes for pupils in the region remain disappointing, especially in the secondary phase. Too many schools in the region are not providing a good enough education.

“Some promising good practice is emerging. The most effective schools and colleges are demonstrating that improvements can be made for these pupils. Nevertheless, promoting high aspirations and providing the means to ensure these pupils can achieve well remain a critical task in the East Midlands.

“During inspections, Ofsted will continue to examine the progress made by pupils, as well as looking at how well schools are promoting good attitudes to learning, and having high aspirations for children and young people. We will focus carefully on those groups who continue to make poor progress and work with providers to promote good practice.”

Key findings show that the variation in quality of education provided by secondary schools across the East Midlands is too wide with five out of nine local authorities below the national level of 77 per cent of pupils attending a good or better secondary school.

GCSE outcomes across the region are also below the national level. This year’s provisional results for GCSEs show that only 53 per cent of pupils in the East Midlands achieved five GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and mathematics compared with 56.3 per cent nationally

Councillor Caitlin Bisknell, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Support Member for Children’s Services, said: “These figures are already out of date and the picture in Derbyshire has now improved further taking into account our most recent Ofsted inspections.

“We calculate that 59% of pupils now attend secondary schools that are good or better – up from 43% at this point last year. We have a number of schools currently awaiting inspection and we expect the outcomes of these to take us to over 60%.

“The number of pupils achieving five GCSE grades A*-C including in English and maths is higher than the national average and we have improved rates of progress in maths in line with the national average.

“The percentage of pupils in Derbyshire attending primary schools that are good or better is in line with last year’s result but we had far fewer inspections this year and schools ‘requiring improvement’ can only improve their Ofsted rating if they are inspected.

“But we recognise there’s still work to do and we’re committed to improving further over the next year with a number of measures in place to make sure this happens including linking schools which require improvement with outstanding schools to continue driving up standards.”