Oxford primary schools 'weak' headship criticised

Head teachers and councillors have been meeting to discuss the poor performance of Oxford's primary schools.

The city has been near the bottom of local authority league tables for the last three years.

Councillor Melinda Tilley said it could be due to a combination of "weak school leadership, weak governors and weak local authority input".

The county council was trying to take action that would see a gradual improvement in standards, she said.

'Difficult questions'

Commenting on the issue of schools performance, education expert Prof John Howson said he was "flabbergasted" to discover the city's schools were under-performing to such an extent.

Prof Howson who is vice president of the Liberal Democrat Education Association, said that judging by the key stage two results the problem was not city wide.

He said that the results might be caused by some teachers who were trained in small village primary schools transferring to large urban schools.

"You can't afford to have teachers that are not hitting the ground running," he added.

Ms Tilley told BBC Radio Oxford that the people responsible were not asking the "very difficult questions".

"The county council does not just sit back and say 'oh dear me what's going wrong', we have sent in groups of people to support head teachers and governors," she said.

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