INSPECTORS have warned failing North East schools they face Government intervention if they do not make “urgent” improvements.
The region’s most powerful inspector said the schools in the North East need to “raise their game” as it emerged they were among the weakest performers in the entire country.
Speaking to The Journal, Ofsted directors said headteachers across the region should be prepared for a new crackdown as the watchdog prepares a tougher stance on under-performing schools.
School leaders and teaching unions last night defended the region’s record, despite figures indicating that more than a third of schools were graded as “less than good” by Ofsted inspectors.
Statistics released yesterday showed 36% of secondary schools in the North East are failing to make the grade, compared to 31% nationally.
Meanwhile, only 19% of secondary schools are rated outstanding, compared to a national figure of 26%.
Nick Hudson, who last month took the role as Ofsted’s regional director for the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “If schools fail to meet targets then they would be monitored by Ofsted, but other organisations would also be interested and the Department for Education might look at other ways to improve them.”
It is the most recent in a series of hard-line warnings from Ofsted to regional heads after they said under-performing schools could not use deprivation as an excuse for failing standards.
The latest warning triggered a response from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in which it said the Department for Education had a “pointless obsession” with turning schools into academies.
Osted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw will today chair a meeting of Ofsted’s senior directors in York to examine the quality of early years, school and post-16 education in the North East.