Stoke & Staffordshire

'Significant concerns' over schools service Entrust

School jobs protest
Image caption Unions opposed the transfer of 4,000 school support workers from the council to the private company

The transfer of school staff to a partly privatised company in Staffordshire has led to problems at some schools, Ofsted has said.

About 4,000 support workers were moved to Entrust, a firm jointly run by Capita and the county council, in 2013.

After inspecting 18 schools, Ofsted said it had "significant concerns" about the company and its relationship with teachers and governors.

The council said there had been issues with Entrust but it was improving.

Entrust delivers much of the training and consultancy work in schools across the county.

The staff transferred to the firm in 2013 included classroom support staff, school cooks, cleaners and caretakers.

Ofsted carried out the inspections at 18 schools to see how effective Entrust was in supporting and raising classroom standards.

'Lack of confidence'

It found six schools required improvement and three, which had previously been rated as good, needed to be placed in special measures.

The remainder were rated as good.

Ofsted regional director Lorna Fitzjohn said: "There is considerable uncertainty among head teachers about how the local authority and Entrust work to improve schools.

"Combined with the lack of confidence in the local authority's contracted arrangements this is of significant concern."

However, inspectors praised the county council's data analysis, which looks at pupils' achievements and highlights those who are not making enough progress.

County council cabinet member for learning and skills Ben Adams said the authority was already addressing Ofsted's concerns.

He said it had brought in new training schemes for teachers and governors and a programme of "mini-inspections" that the council would carry out at schools.

Mr Adams said: "I accept that we still have some work to do in explaining how we work with Entrust to support schools."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites