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10 June 2013, 11:40
Ofsted is starting a five day inspection on the Isle of Wight, to find out why so many schools are failing there.
A team of inspectors will spend the week examining whether the council is doing enough to support schools on the Island.
HM Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said:
“Inspectors will be going to the Isle of Wight and Norfolk because too many schools in the areas are failing to provide a standard of education that children deserve.
“Ofsted’s targeted inspection of schools in Norfolk earlier this year and recent school inspections in the Isle of Wight have raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of the local authorities’ support and challenge. In both cases, many school leaders have expressed the view that their local authority is not doing enough to challenge their institutions to improve.
"School inspections in the Isle of Wight have raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of the local authority’s support and challenge. Nearly 4,000 (or more than one in three) children on the island go to a school that is not yet good, while recent inspections have shown that two thirds of all the secondary schools are now judged inadequate."
Cllr Richard Priest, Isle of Wight Council's cabinet member for children's services, said:
"There is a clear need for improvement in this area and that is why, with the support of the Department for Education, we are developing a partnership with Hampshire County Council designed to raise the quality of education on the Island as quickly as possible.
"The council's interim lead for schools has already undertaken a lot of work with colleagues here and in both Hampshire and Ofsted but if this inspection is going to help us identify and prioritise further work that needs to be undertaken under our emerging partnership then it is to be welcomed. We will, of course, provide the inspectors with every assistance and look forward to receiving their report."