A new North West Director to drive improvement in the region

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The North West is to have its own Ofsted Regional Director to drive up standards and transform the quality of education, learning and skills in the region.

Eight Regional Director posts are being created across England. Ofsted today has launched a recruitment campaign to fill these remaining posts. From January next year, the new Regional Directors will spearhead improvements and tackle underperformance at a local and regional level.

Ofsted is committed to ensuring that every child in every part of the country has access to a good education.

As part of a major restructuring exercise, each Regional Director will have a powerful presence in their region to drive up standards. Each will lead teams of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) tasked with monitoring, inspecting, challenging and supporting educational institutions which are not meeting the required standard.

Their core mission will be to support underperforming schools and colleges to improve more quickly.

The appointment of the Regional Directors is part of a concerted drive to reduce the great inequality of access to good or better education and learning. Ofsted’s Annual Report, published today, highlights the disparity in access in different parts of the country and between children from disadvantaged and more affluent backgrounds.

The report finds huge variations in the quality of education and learning across local authority areas and across regions.

Today’s report is underpinned by the findings of nearly 25,000 inspections carried out during 2011/12 of early years and childcare, schools, colleges and adult learning and skills – providing a unique evidence base for the key conclusions.

Alongside the Annual Report, Ofsted has today launched a new service called Data View (www.dataview.ofsted.gov.uk), a new online tool which allows open access to, and the comparison of, inspection findings about the performance of providers at national, regional, local authority and constituency level over time.

The main theme of the report is the importance of strong leadership at every level of the education system. Nearly all the strengths and weaknesses identified through inspections across every sector over the past 12 months could be put down to the quality of leadership.

Launching his first Annual Report and the recruitment exercise to appoint the new Regional Directors, Sir Michael, Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, said:

“The key to improvement can be summed up in one word: leadership. That’s why I have made leadership such a central feature of my first annual report.

“We have found huge variations in the performance of schools across different local authority areas.

“If we aspire, as a nation, to move to a world -leading system, we have to reduce these serious inequities across the country.

“That’s why I intend, from January, to use Ofsted’s new regional structure to inquire further into areas that are performing badly. We need to find out what is happening, and inspect where necessary. We will also work with local areas to support them and help them link up with best practice.

“The eight Regional Directors will be my voice in the regions. They will challenge and support in equal measure and will not walk away from the institutions we inspect until they improve.”

The mains findings identified in the Annual Report are:


Around 70% of providers across all Ofsted’s inspection remits are now judged as good or better

North West

74% of primary schools are good/outstanding compared to 73% in the North East. The national average for good/outstanding primary schools in England is 69%.

65% of secondary schools are good/outstanding compared to 59% in the North East. The national average for good/outstanding secondary schools in England is 66%.

76% of Learning and skills providers are good/outstanding compared to 62% in the North East. The national average for good/outstanding learning and skills providers in England is 64%

70% of Early years provision are good/outstanding compared to 67% in the North East. The national average for good/outstanding Early years providers in England is 74%.

65% of the most deprived pupils go to good/outstanding schools in the North West compared to 55% in the North East. The national average for the most deprived pupils who go to good/outstanding schools in England is 60%.

Local Authorities

There are huge variations in the effectiveness of local authorities in securing good school and childcare provision for children in their area.

In the Schools remit report of the Annual Report, the top 10 local authority areas where pupils attend good or outstanding primary schools in order of best performing are:

Richmond upon Thames

The bottom 10 local authority areas in order of worst performing are:

§ Coventry

§ Derby

§ Thurrock

§ Wakefield

§ Telford and Wrekin

§ Wolverhampton

§ Reading

§ Portsmouth

§ Medway

§ Kent
The top 10 local authority areas where pupils attend good or outstanding secondary schools in order of best performing are:

§ Trafford

§ Torbay

§ Sutton

§ Rutland

§ Kensington and Chelsea

§ Isle of Wight

§ Hounslow

§ Harrow

§ Hammersmith and Fulham

§ Wigan
The bottom 10 local authority areas in order of worst performing are:

§ Barnsley

§ Bradford

§ Middlesbrough

§ Portsmouth

§ Tameside

§ East Riding and Yorkshire

§ Manchester

§ Derby

§ Doncaster

§ Stoke on Trent

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