Schools letting down disadvantaged children in market towns and seaside resorts, Ofsted chief to say

Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

An 'invisible minority' of disadvantaged children living in 'leafy suburbs, market towns or seaside resorts' are being let down by their schools, the chief inspector of schools will say today.

In a major speech, Sir Michael Wilshaw will say problems of under-achievement have shifted from inner-cities to deprived coastal towns and rural areas of the country, especially in the East and South East of England.

He will also single out Norwich as a reasonably rich area where a significant number of poorer children are being failed by their schools.

He will say an army of top teachers should be deployed in schools that are failing their poorest pupils.

The Ofsted chief inspector is calling for the Government to recruit a proportion of England's most talented teachers to teach in 'less fashionable, more remote or challenging places'.

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Sir Michael's speech comes as Ofsted publishes a new report looking at the gap in attainment between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils across the education system.

It comes a week after Norfolk County Council was the first local education authority in the country to be targeted by inspectors examining how well it supports schools to improve standards.

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Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said: 'There is a particular problem in those rural and coastal areas where very low wages mean families are in employment but living below the poverty line, as those students are not eligible for the Pupil Premium. Not only are those schools poorly funded but they do not attract additional Pupil Premium funding.'

For reaction to Sir Michael's speech, see tomorrow's newspaper.

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