Suffolk: Just 61% of Suffolk primary pupils go to good or outstanding schools

LESS than two-thirds of primary pupils in Suffolk go to good or outstanding schools, according to figures from Ofsted.

The education regulator said 61% of pupils are at well thought of primary schools, placing the county 118 out of 150 authorities nationally. They are behind inner-city boroughs such as Camden, with 92%; Sefton, 90%; and Wandsworth 86%.

But the picture is better for secondary pupils: three-quarters go to a good or outstanding school. Overall 64% of Suffolk schools fall into one of those two categories.

At the other end of the scale 33% of Suffolk schools inspected are in the “satisfactory” or “inadequate” category, compared with 38% in Essex.

But the satisfactory grouping is being phased out - Ofsted will lump them in with inadequate schools and tell all of them they “require improvement”.

There were four schools in special measures as at August 31: Worlingworth Primary; Clifford Road Primary; Pot Kiln Primary; and Holbrook High.

Councillor Graham Newman, cabinet member for education at Suffolk County Council, said: “Suffolk’s school are clearly performing well compared to their east of England neighbours, but more needs to be done to raise attainment.

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“Suffolk County Council has a good record of ensuring any schools judged to be inadequate make rapid improvement and this is done with targeted support from our learning and improvement service.

“We are committed to further improvement which is why we are moving forward with the school organisation review and Raising the Bar programme.

“If we all play our part, Suffolk has ample headroom to make huge gains in attainment.”

Graham White, secretary of Suffolk NUT, questioned the inspection process.

“I don’t think it’s accurate,” he said. “When Ofsted come in they are looking exclusively at pupil data and then they look to find evidence to support that when they come.”