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Norfolk schools suffer Ofsted slump

PUBLISHED: 07:30 19 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:22 01 July 2010

Steve Downes

The Ofsted ratings of Norfolk's schools have slumped dramatically, leaving the county trailing behind much of England, according to new figures.

More than half of the most recently inspected schools are failing to give pupils a good education, according to data published by Ofsted.

The Ofsted ratings of Norfolk's schools have slumped dramatically, leaving the county trailing behind much of England, according to new figures.

More than half of the most recently inspected schools are failing to give pupils a good education, according to data published by Ofsted.

The ratings for schools inspected between September 2009 and Easter 2010 show 40 out of 89 were given outstanding or good reports.

The figure of 44pc is comfortably down on the 60.9pc rated good or better in 2008/9 and the 60.1pc in 2007/8.

Last night, Norfolk's deputy director of education Fred Corbett said the figures had been “skewed” because the tougher inspection regime introduced in September focused on schools previously known to have weaknesses.

However, the new regime is the same for all areas, and Norfolk's figure of 44pc of schools rated good or better is well behind the 53pc across England, 51pc in Cambridgeshire and 54pc in Suffolk.

Nationally, 11pc of the 3,990 schools inspected were outstanding, 42pc good, 38pc satisfactory and 9pc inadequate. In Norfolk, four (4pc) were outstanding, 36 (40pc) good, 39 (44pc) satisfactory and 10 (11pc) inadequate.

Mr Corbett said: “Whereas in the past Ofsted has tended to choose a fairly random sample of schools to inspect, the expectation of them now is to focus their resources on targeting schools that were previously known to have some weaknesses.

“Clearly the motivation for doing this is good, but it will lead to some potentially rather skewed figures as a result.”

He added: “For those schools that need help to rapidly improve, the county council is working together with school governors and staff to ensure the identified improvements are made.”

“We have amended our school improvement strategy to make sure we intervene earlier when schools are causing concern and this has helped reduce the number of schools going into special measures.”

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