Press release

Peterborough Council's school improvement support effective

Strategies to improve the education outcomes for children and young people in Peterborough are having positive results.

Ofsted carried out an inspection of Peterborough Council’s arrangements for school improvement between 3 and 7 February this year. This was in response to concerns about the achievement and progress of pupils in primary and secondary schools, and the proportion of young people aged 16 to 18 not in education, employment or training.

The overall support for school improvement is found effective, with improvements made across GCSE results, attendance, reducing exclusions and improving students’ participation in education, employment or training post-16.

Senior leaders and the team of school improvement advisers are held in high regard by schools, working well with local leaders of education and head teachers to support schools that are causing concern.

Sean Harford, Ofsted Regional Director for the East of England says:

The inspection of Peterborough Council found examples of positive practice, and while these steps are in the right direction, council officers recognise that there is still some way to go. The proportion of pupils attending a good or better primary school is still well below the national average, and although primary results have improved year on year, these too fall short of national levels.

To continue improving achievement and ensure all pupils in Peterborough attend a good or better school, Ofsted recommends that the local authority should:

  • clarify milestones and targets in strategic plans and specify how each school will contribute to raising standards for all children and young people
  • focus relentlessly on supporting and challenging schools to improve outcomes for pupils who speak English as an additional language and those supported through pupil premium funding
  • embed high quality school-to-school partnership in order to promote the sharing of good practice and increase the autonomy of primary schools
  • improve information, advice and guidance in schools and broaden the provision of work-based learning opportunities so that young people succeed along their education and training pathways

The report is on Peterborough’s page.

Notes to editors

  1. Sean Harford will be available for interview today – please contact the Ofsted Press Office on 03000 131 673 to arrange.

  2. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.

  3. The framework for the inspection of local authority arrangements for supporting school improvement.

The local authority school improvement framework, which took effect in June 2013, enables Ofsted for the first time to inspect the school improvement functions of any local authority where there are concerns that the statutory duty to improve school standards is not being met. This may include areas where the performance of schools has declined.

Inspections under the new local authority school improvement framework will not be universal and Ofsted will inspect only where there are concerns about performance or where requested to do so by the Secretary of State. Local authorities will receive up to five days’ notice of an inspection.

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