Good news as pupils go back to school: spring term saw big rise in “good” Ofsted grades

Mick Castle. Picture: James Bass Mick Castle. Picture: James Bass

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
6:30 AM

Ofsted grades received by Norfolk schools showed a significant improvement during the last school term, an analysis carried out by the EDP has found.

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The comparison of grades inspectors gave the county’s state-funded schools – including primary, secondary, academy and maintained schools – over the last four terms showed a dramatic rise in the proportion judged to be “good”.

A total of 35 full Ofsted reports were published during spring term this year, and 60pc of them gave a “good” grade, which is the second-highest ranking and the minimum standard expected by the school inspectorate.

This compared to 37pc given the same grade in spring 2013, 41pc in summer 2013 and 44pc in autumn 2013.

• Click here to see our interactive map of Norfolk school Ofsted reports since January 2013

The proportion of schools given the lower “requires improvement” grade each term more than halved between spring 2013 and spring 2014, from 52pc to 23pc.

Spring 2014 was also the first term for a year where more schools saw their Ofsted grades increase rather than decrease.

This spring, 34pc schools moved up at least one category following their inspection, while 29pc moved in the opposite direction.

Schools which have taken part in Norfolk County Council’s Norfolk to Good and Great programme, which aims to improve schools classed as “requires improvement”, are responsible for more than half the schools which have boosted their ranking so far this academic year.

As reported last month, the council said 18 of the 20 schools in the programme which have been inspected so far have seen their judgment improve.

The council said the better Ofsted grades were the result of the council making greater use of its powers to challenge schools, better use of data and categorising all schools, and improved work with governing bodies.

Mick Castle, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for schools, said: “I am very pleased to see the green shoots of recovery for Norfolk’s schools but I know that there is still plenty of hard work to be done to continue to move in the right direction.

“These figures show that A Good School For Every Norfolk Learner is making positive steps and over 10,000 more Norfolk children now attend a good or outstanding school than at the outset of the strategy 15 months ago. We will be using this momentum to ensure that we continue to improve for the term ahead and beyond.

“We have been working in partnership with over 100 schools as part of Norfolk To Good and Great and a significant number of schools that required improvement have been successful in inspection.

“As the percentage of Norfolk schools judged by Ofsted as good or better increases we are delighted that over 80pc of these schools are now engaged in delivering or working towards providing support to other schools.”

The analysis also showed the proportion of schools given the top “outstanding” grade remained fairly static in each of the four terms, standing at 4pc in spring 2013 and 6pc one year later.

Do you think that Norfolk’s schools are on the right track? Email education correspondent Martin George at martin.george@archant.co.uk

9 comments

  • V you wouldn't know the truth if it smacked you in the eye. U r rabid and blinkered but you do a great sell for lovin teachers!!

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    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • And Ingo, GY has huge green bins collected once a fortnight and an excellent and easily used recycling centre which is greatly improved after remodelling and always busy. There are also recycling bins for glass paper and clothes in many villages. I reckon GY does OK on the recycling front whatever Castle has to say. Quite why he has the council post he has though quite defeats me-apart from the fact he went to school like everyone else.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • This is probably just down to statistics and which schools happened to be inspected when. Or it could be, as the cynical might think, that Gove has instructed Ofsted to back pedal a bit because of the bad publicity he has been getting after quite blatant Ofsted stitch ups of schools as part of the drive for academies.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • Read the rest Sportswagon, then tell me I am ignorant !. The truth hurts doesnt it.

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    "V"

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • ere, here Ingo. Once again the EDP have disappointed by giving the credit to the wrong people. The teachers and the children are the ones who have worked hard to achieve this and yet the credit goes to someone who only thinks he works hard.

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    disolushund

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • So the news is that state schools can hold their own and perform equally well, currently, as private schools. But this has nothing to do with Cllr. Castle, but good teaching. Cllr. castle failed to encourage Gt. Yarmouth residents to recycle, because he does not see the point in sustainability, exactly a vital point teachers are bringing over to children these days. The picture should be of happy children who achieved the results, not of a cllr. who likes the look of himself.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • Perhaps Castle is given space because the LA are at last bringing about success in Norfolk's schools. Oh dear what will all the LA haters and doom mongers do now after their 18 month assault on Norfolk schools?

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    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • Typical ignorant V ....Castlr was grilled on Look East and by this newspaper but of course this doesn't suit your negative, politically inspired rants.

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    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • As usual, and typical Labourite, Castle is nowhere to be seen when things are going bad, but always there when things are going swimmingly. Why the hell does the EDP give this bloke space ?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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