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School fails to reach good standard for more than a decade

Headteacher Elizabeth Hayes outside Boldon School.
Headteacher Elizabeth Hayes outside Boldon School.

A local school is one of 130 in the country which has failed to be rated as ‘good’ by education watchdogs for more than ten years.

Boldon School is on a list released as part of an annual report by Amanda Spielman, chief inspector for Ofsted.

We are very pleased and the school is very proud of the improvement in pupil outcomes in the GCSE exams during the summer

South Tyneside Council

She said disadvantaged pupils should not be used as an excuse for chronically under-achieving schools.

The South Tyneside school last underwent an inspection in May this year and was rated as requiring improvements in all areas.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “Following previous inspections, Boldon School has been following a rigorous improvement plan to ensure that it secures a ‘good’ judgement from Ofsted.

“We were very pleased and the school is very proud of the improvement in pupil outcomes in the GCSE exams during the summer. The school was placed second in the authority for pupil progress.

“Additionally Boldon has just been recognised as one of twelve most improved schools across the country though the parliamentary review. We anticipate this improvement will continue and be sustained into the future.”

In her report Ms Speilman hit out at a culture of “disadvantage one-upmanship”.

She said the 130 school had received “considerable attention and investment” and that others facing similar challenges have been able to achieve success, showing improvement is possible.

Ms Spielman, said: “There is no doubt that the leadership challenge facing some schools is great.

“But progress is possible and we should all be wary of using the make-up of a school community as an excuse for under-performance.

“I do find myself frustrated with the culture of ‘disadvantage one-upmanship’ that has emerged in some places.”

The report also showed that more than 500 primary schools and around 200 secondaries have been judged as requiring improvement or being satisfactory at their last two inspections.

Of those inspected this year, around 80 primary and 50 secondary schools were found not to have been rated good or outstanding at any point since 2005.

Unstable leadership, high staff turnover and difficulties recruiting were noted as shared characteristics between these schools, while many have high proportions of pupils from deprived areas.

Overall, education and care provided to young people is “better than ever”, with around 90% of primary schools and 79% of secondaries rated good or outstanding, the report said.

And, the quality of early years providers has improved, with 94% judged to be good or outstanding compared with 74% in 2012.