IT’s almost three years since secondary schools in Stockton-on-Tees were told ‘you must do better’ by Ofsted.
The warning came on the back of figures which showed just 46 per cent of secondary pupils were being taught at a school rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
But that’s history now, with new figures reported to the Council’s Cabinet revealing that number has almost doubled to 91 per cent.
Councillor Ann McCoy, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “I remember that criticism from Ofsted very well. It really stung, and we said at the time that we were working with our secondary schools to bring about improvements. We’ve stuck to that task.
“‘Must do better’ is what they said to us – well, now we’re flying high.
“I think the key to this success has been that we’ve worked closely with our schools, regardless of whether they are academies, Diocesan schools, free schools, or council maintained, with a clear focus on what’s most important, and that’s the education of our young people.
“In some parts of the country there isn’t such a united approach but here in Stockton-on-Tees there’s a collective determination to succeed and everyone pulls together. We’ve got some brilliant schools with talented and hardworking staff and I’m delighted for them.
“Of course, we are far from complacent and we know that Ofsted ratings are just one measure of a school’s success. We will continue to do all that we can to help the Borough’s schools, and the children and young people who attend them, succeed.”
In primary schools, where Ofsted performance has been consistently strong, 95 per cent of pupils attend schools rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
There was more good news in the shape of the improving performance of disadvantaged primary school children, who are closing the gap on their non-disadvantaged peers.