Derby Ofsted blitz inspections sees schools improve

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted's chief inspector
Image caption Sir Michael Wilshaw launched the blitz inspections last month.

A blitz inspection on underperforming schools in Derby has found "cause for optimism", the schools watchdog says.

In January, Ofsted announced it was bringing forward inspections in six parts of England where schools have struggled.

Derby was the first area of the country to be singled out, with seven being targeted.

Inspectors found four of the seven had improved, after they were told to raise standards on previous visits.

The four improved schools were Beaufort Community Primary School, Portway Junior School, St Mary's Catholic Primary and Roe Farm Primary School.

They were previously rated as "satisfactory" but are now ranked "good" by inspectors.

Kate Williams, headteacher of Roe Farm Primary School, in Chaddesden, said: "It's a success story for Derby.

"The governors and I are very proud of the staff, children and parents."

However, the remaining three schools were found to "require improvement" - the judgement which has replaced the old "satisfactory" rating.

All of these schools, Murray Park School, Dale Community Primary School and Cavendish Close Junior School, were rated "satisfactory" at their last inspection.

Cause for optimism

The blitz inspections were launched by Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.

He said it was completely unacceptable children in some areas of England stood less chance of attending a good school.

Data published in November showed fewer than half of Derby children were in schools rated "good" or better.

Sean Harford, Ofsted's interim regional director for the East Midlands, said: "The improvement of just over half the schools previously judged satisfactory gives cause for optimism and reflects well upon the hard work of the senior leaders, teachers and pupils since their last inspection.

"To balance this, it remains of concern that three of the previously satisfactory schools have not improved their inspection grade and so the pupils continue to not have access to a good quality of education."

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