Councillor slams Northamptonshire’s Ofsted rating

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The administration at County Hall has been forced to defend itself after a report suggested Northamptonshire pupils were among the least likely to attend top schools.

The annual Ofsted report, which was published last week, showed only 59 per cent of children attended primary schools which were rated as outstanding or good.

It meant Northamptonshire was ranked joint 128th out of 150 local authority areas in England. Camden, in London, was ranked top with 92 per cent of children attending outstanding or good schools, with Coventry, on 42 per cent, ranked bottom.

Neighbouring Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Rutland and Peterborough are all ranked higher.

Cllr Andrew Grant, the council cabinet member responsible for education, said Ofsted had primarily inspected schools which were already a cause for concern.

“We want all our schools to be good or outstanding,” he added. “We are tackling the issues and we do recognise our responsibilities.

“We have started to create more academies. Schools that have failed are being taken over.

“I think over the last four or five years we have had a great rapport with the Department for Education and they recognise our achievements.”

But Cllr Brendan Glynane, the leader of the Liberal Democrats at County Hall, said the report showed the council was failing children.

“Any way you cut it, this is a shocking indictment of their record of failure,” he said.

“Cllr Grant said Ofsted picked out our poorest schools, but it’s the same benchmark everywhere else.

“They have been in power for nearly eight years and we have seen standards go down.

“If you don’t have a good education system you store up problems later on for firms coming into Northamptonshire,” he added.