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Rise in number of Cambridgeshire secondary schools that are outstanding

By Gemma Gardner

The number of good and outstanding secondary schools in Cambridgeshire has increased by 20 percentage points in the past 12 months, Ofsted's annual report reveals.

The county has seen the largest increase in the East of England, with 83 per cent of secondary schools in Cambridgeshire graded good and outstanding.

Elsewhere in the region, Peterborough posted an eight per cent increase and now, all secondaries in the city are good or outstanding.

Among those to receive praise was the Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology – formerly UTC Cambridge. The academy went from inadequate to good in less than a year.

The new principal, Sian Forman, and senior leaders combine calmness and passion, according to Ofsted inspectors who inspected the school in May of this year.

“We are led by a vision,” claimed one middle leader and other leaders supported this view.

An example of passionate and effective leadership can be seen in students’ dramatically improved attendance and punctuality over the past nine months, the report continued.

However, there were no improvements among the county’s primary schools, with 84 per cent recorded as good or outstanding in Cambridgeshire. This compares to 90 per cent nationally and 91 per cent in the East of England. When compared with the rest of the region, Cambridgeshire sits just above Luton (83 per cent). The list is topped by Thurrock where 97 per cent of primary schools are good or outstanding.

The county performs better when looking at the proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard in key stage 2. Some 59 per cent of students achieve the expected standard in both English and maths, which compares with 61 per cent nationally and 60 in the East of England.

Ofsted East of England director, Paul Brooker, said: “From the youngest children to those of school age, the East of England overall serves its children well. Inspection outcomes for childminders, nurseries and pre-schools are positive; the proportion judged good or outstanding is at or above the national figures.

“Nine out of 10 primary schools in the region have been judged to be good or outstanding. And the majority of our 11 authorities in the region are at or above the national figure for the proportion of primary schools rated good or better. At secondary level, all local authorities bar Suffolk are at or above the national level for the proportion that are rated at least good.

“I am really pleased to see the marked improvements made by Cambridgeshire’s secondary schools. The proportion of secondary schools judged good and outstanding has increased by 20 percentage points.

“This is a sterling achievement and down to the hard work of senior leaders, teachers and pupils.

“This year’s annual report shows that there is cause for celebration. There are some key positives in the region, particularly for young children and school-age pupils.

“Ofsted inspections are a force for improvement and I am determined to make sure that outcomes for young people and learners improve as we approach 2018.”


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