The focused inspections are part of a concerted programme of action by Ofsted to establish why children in some parts of the country have a much lower chance of attending a good or better school than their peers in other similar areas.
In North Somerset, Ofsted’s main concern centres on the comparatively low number of good or outstanding primary schools in the area.
17 schools were inspected during the focused inspection activity. These included 14 primary schools, 2 junior schools and one infant school.
During the inspections, Ofsted also gathered information on the use, quality and impact of North Somerset Council’s support for school improvement by asking additional key questions of headteachers and governors.
Of the 17 schools inspected, 11 schools were judged to be good at their last inspection and 6 were graded satisfactory/ requires improvement.
Following the focused inspection activity the schools’ performance has improved where:
- 2 were judged outstanding
- 12 judged good and
- 3 judged requires improvement
Bradley Simmons, Ofsted’s South West Regional Director said:
The outcome of the focused inspections presents an encouraging picture. I am pleased to see that the number of good and outstanding schools in North Somereset are on the rise.
The improvement is due to the hard work of teachers, school leaders and the council’s effective school improvement support of its primary schools. All have played a part in contributing to the positive inspection outcomes.
However, inspections revealed some common areas for improvement including a stronger focus on most able pupils and ensuring that marking helps pupils to improve the quality of their work.
The letter sent to the local authority has been published on North Somerset’s page on Ofsted’s reports website.
- The letter to North Somerset Council can be found online.
- Schools inspected in the focused inspections
||Windwhistle Primary School
||Portishead Primary School
||Winscombe Primary School
||Backwell Church of England Junior School
||Banwell Primary School
||Burrington CofE VA Primary School
||Golden Valley Primary School
||St Georges VA Church Primary School
||Locking Primary School
||Christ Church CofE Primary School
||Dundry Church of England Primary School
||St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
||Grove Junior School
||Hannah More Infant School
||Uphill Primary School
||Churchill CofE Primary
- On 17 January 2013, Ofsted announced the first wave of focused school inspections across local authority areas, where children are being denied the standard of education they deserve. The press release is available online.
- Local authority areas were selected for the focused school inspection programme on the basis of the relative proportion of children attending good or better primary schools, as set out in the last Ofsted Annual Report, and Ofsted data on the proportion of children attending good or better secondary schools, as well as any relevant inspection evidence gathered during the autumn 2012 term. These are standard section 5 inspections, which were scheduled to take place this academic year and include all types of schools – although the majority will be primary schools.
Ofsted’s Annual Report is online.