Liverpool has more schools classed as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ than any other big city in the country.
The 2012/13 annual report from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools (HMCI), Sir Michael Wilshaw shows that, as of 31 August 2013, 84 percent of the 122 primary schools and 82 percent of the 29 secondary schools in the city were classed as good or outstanding.
It continues Liverpool’s record of performing better any of the other major ‘core’ cities – Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.
Schools watchdog Ofsted announced last year that ‘good’ is the minimum standard it expects from schools, and the data places Liverpool is in a stronger position than every other big city in the country.
It is a major turnaround from just over a decade ago, when 25 schools were judged to have either serious weaknesses or be in special measures, and the education service was on the brink of being privatised because it was failing children.
Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for education, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have maintained our position as the leading big city for education.
“It is an incredible achievement and demonstrates clearly the extremely strong and positive relationship between schools, teaching staff, governing bodies and the local authority’s School Improvement Service in driving up standards and giving children the best possible start in life.
“Despite the huge challenges we have around deprivation, more than four out of five schools are classed as good or outstanding which is brilliant news for students and their parents and carers.
“I would like to pass on my thanks to each and every one of our schools for their help, support and willingness to work together with us on identifying weaknesses and challenging poor performance.
“Our work, combined with that of the Liverpool Learning Partnership in which schools support and challenge each other, places us in a really strong position to meet the increased standards demanded by OFSTED.
“We are also working hard to push ahead with the recommendations of the recent Education Commission chaired by Estelle Morris, including making Liverpool the foremost reading city in the country.”
Support provided by the council’s School Improvement Service includes regularly reviewing recommendations made by Ofsted and sharing best practice from other schools across the city.
Exam results in the city are also continuing to improve, with provisional figures for 2013 showing the number of students getting five good GCSE results including English and Maths up 0.5 percent compared to last year and contrasting with a national fall of 1.3 percent. For the sixth year in a row, the number getting five A* – C across all subjects has exceeded the national average. In Liverpool it now stands at 86.1 percent, against a national average of 84 percent.