Underperforming Secondary Schools Rise

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One in Eight UK Secondary Schools are Failing


The Department of Education has seen an increase in the number of underperforming schools across the country. However, it has been revealed too that some of these schools have received outstanding Ofsted ratings. There are officials who stated that this increase may be due to the technical changes in the points system with which school rates are being based on. Educator Peter Gale Headteacher is very much aware of the issue. Having been an educational professional for 20 years, he is quite familiar with the things that the UK education system lacks. He was an Ofsted Inspector which allowed him to get a much closer look at how things stand in terms of school performance. He digs deeper into the problem below. 

A number of secondary schools all over England have been tagged as underperforming. Data shows that one in every eight schools has been performing below the new minimum standard that the government has set. According to the DfE, 12% or 365 secondary schools in the country last year which are considered as mainstream were unable to reach the floor standard. Compared to the 282 or 9.3% last 2016, the figures seriously indicate an upward trend. The highest proportion of schools that are considered below standards came from the north-east of the country.

The data also shows that those pupils who happen to speak English not as a mother tongue, but only as an additional language, have been outperforming those that are native speakers. This was evident at the GCSE. In addition, the attainment gap between the poor and the rich, while it may still hold some significance, has been increasingly narrowing as well.

According to officials, this rise in the number of schools that have been underperforming may be due to how the points system that is used in calculating a school’s performance has changed. However, this is going to be little comfort to the head teachers. Secondary schools will feel the pressure this year as the increase in the number of schools that have been judged as failing will mean reforms to the GCSEs.

Also, the fact that six out of the 365 schools that were considered as below standard was even rated as outstanding by Ofsted, the school watchdog. With three of these schools being grammar schools will only further add more confusion on how this could have happened. Ministers were quite keen to welcome the progress when it comes to the attainment gap between those students that are disadvantaged and those that are wealthier. The number has narrowed down from 2016 by 3.2%. Achievement and entry for the EBacc have fallen, while it also shows that more pupils who are disadvantaged have been taking subjects under EBacc and are actually getting good grades.

The data also revealed a very notable geographical divide in terms of educational progress. One in every five schools in the north-west and the north-east of the country are falling below floor standards. This is compared to London’s statistics which is at 6.9%- the lowest proportion in terms of underperforming schools. In the southwest schools that are below floor, standard is at 16.2% and the east has recorded 7.4%. Meanwhile, Yorkshire has a 7.6% record.

Watch the video below to learn more.


To find out more about Peter Gale Headteacher, follow him on Twitter. You can also like the Peter Gale Headteacher Facebook page.

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