Ofsted gives seal of approval for education in North Somerset
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Schools in North Somerset have been recognised as being some of the best in the country by education watchdog Ofsted.
Secondary school education in particular has been commended by Ofsted, as it ranked North Somerset 17 out of 152 local authorities in its annual report, which covers the 2014-2015 academic year.
The report also places North Somerset third in the South West for secondary level education, showing 93 per cent of the district’s secondary school students are in good or outstanding schools, compared to 83 per cent across the region.
When it comes to primary level education the percentage of pupils attending schools with a rating of good or better has risen, from 78 per cent in 2013-2014 to 86 per cent in 2014-2015.
However, that figure still ranks North Somerset 13th out of 15 local authorities in the South West when measured on the number of pupils at good or outstanding primary schools, and 73rd in the country.
The National Union of Teachers’ North Somerset secretary, Jon Reddiford, said education has ‘never been stronger’ but did raise concerns about the difficulty schools face when it comes to hiring teachers.
He said: “Teacher recruitment is clearly a problem and has been for some time. The report highlights the fact that even headteachers in affluent areas are finding it hard to recruit staff.
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“The numbers for teacher training are seven per cent below target. This is alarming. It is vital that the reasons behind this are resolved.”
Mr Reddiford also said it is important to provide children with a variety of study options.
He said: “Ensuring that young people remain engaged in education in secondary school relies on a curriculum that is relevant and exciting.
“Core academic subjects are important but they must not be over emphasised at the expense of vocational and arts subjects.”
Ofsted’s regional director Bradley Simmons highlighted concerns about pupils from poorer backgrounds.
He said: “We are determined the South West should deliver the best education to pupils at greatest risk of underachieving. It is not right that these children are not getting the education they deserve.”