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A message from Patrick Leeson:

13 September 2016 weekly update

13 September 2016

This week, Patrick summarises the Ofsted Inspection results from the last school year and invites Headteachers to attend the Autumn Term briefings.

Dear Colleagues

Ofsted Inspection update

We ended the last school year with a very positive picture of the quality of education in Kent schools.

Overall, 89% of schools are now rated good or outstanding compared to 84% nationally. This includes 21% of schools judged to be outstanding and 68% judged to be good. This is nearly our target of 90% for 2017, so we are making very good progress.

This overall figure includes 90% of Primary schools judged to be good or outstanding, 84% of Secondary schools, 96% of Special schools and 86% of PRUs in Kent. Also, 95% of Early Years settings are good or outstanding, which is excellent.
In Kent, there are now 370 good and 114 outstanding schools, 57 schools requiring improvement (including 42 Primary schools and 13 Secondary schools) and 4 schools in a category of concern, out of a total of 545 schools that have a current inspection result. Overall there are 26 more good and outstanding schools compared to this time last year.

Across England 85% of Primary schools and 74% of Secondary schools are rated good or outstanding. Nationally, 18% of Primary schools are outstanding, 67% are good, 14% require improvement and 1% are inadequate. 21% of Secondary schools are outstanding, 53% are good, 21% require improvement and 5% are inadequate.

In Kent, 17.5% of Primary schools are outstanding, 72% are good, 10% require improvement and 0.5% are inadequate. 31% of Secondary schools are outstanding, 54% are good, 13% require improvement and 2% are inadequate.

Nationally, in the best performing local authority areas, 97% of pupils attend a good or outstanding Primary school and 100% of pupils attend a good or outstanding Secondary school.

In Kent now, 87% of pupils attend a good or outstanding school, including 88% of Primary pupils, 86% of Secondary pupils and 98% of pupils attending Special schools. This means that 16,425 more pupils attend a good or outstanding school compared to this time last year, including 8432 Primary pupils and 7993 Secondary pupils.

Kent Primary schools made very good progress in the last school year in improving inspection outcomes and in increasing the number of good and outstanding schools to 90%.

The trend over time continues to be a good rate of improvement. At the end of the 2014-15 school year, 82% of schools were good or outstanding which was in line with the national average. In July 2015, there were 362 good and 96 outstanding schools, 85 schools requiring improvement (including 67 Primary schools and 14 Secondary schools) and 14 schools in a category, out of a total of 557 schools that had a current inspection result.

In July 2014, 75% of Kent schools were good or outstanding, compared to 68% in 2013, 59% in 2012 and 55% in 2011.

Of the 68 schools inspected in the last school year 72%% were judged to be good or outstanding, and 25% were rated as requiring improvement. This rate was lower for the 12 Secondary schools inspected, where 66% were judged to be good or better.

We expect this positive trend to continue towards our ambitious target of at least 92% of Primary and Secondary schools to be judged good or outstanding in the next year or two.

All schools currently rated as inadequate and as ‘requires improvement’ are working closely with the School Improvement Team, and are supported by other schools, to ensure they achieve a rapid rate of improvement.

We continue to do everything we can, within the framework of government policy and through our own local initiative, to support continuous improvement in the quality of schools in Kent to ensure every school requiring improvement becomes a good school within the next two years, and we continue to work in partnership to ensure no good and outstanding schools decline.

Headteacher Meeting Dates

At the next round of Headteacher meetings this autumn we hope to discuss: school funding changes and High Needs funding, a revised SEND Strategy, the development of an Education Services Company linked to a wider remit and new governance structure for the Kent Association of Headteachers, the next cycle of school place expansions in the Education Commissioning Plan and LA support for the development of multi-academy trusts.

The dates, times and locations for the autumn Headteacher Meetings are:

  • West Kent: Tuesday 8 November - 9am for 9:30am start - 12noon - The Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone ME17 1RE
  • South Kent: Thursday 10 November - 9am for 9:30am start - 12noon - Ashford International Hotel, Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford TN24 8UX
  • North Kent: Tuesday 15 November - 1pm for 1:30pm start - 4pm - Mercure Dartford Brands Hatch Hotel, Brands Hatch, Colin Chapman Way, Dartford DA3 8PE
  • East Kent: Wednesday 16 November - 9am for 9:30am start - 12noon - The Spitfire Ground (Canterbury Cricket Ground), St Lawrence, Old Dover Road, Canterbury CT1 3NZ

I hope you will be able to attend. To book yourself a place, please email confirming your name and school, and the session you wish to attend.

Patrick Leeson, Corporate Director Education and Young People’s Services