School pupils celebrate

Primary schools are top of the class

Pupils are more likely to attend a good or outstanding primary school in Liverpool than in any other big city in the country, according to education watchdog OFSTED.

A new league table of local authorities published in OFSTED’s 2011-12 annual report shows that 77 percent of primary school pupils in the city attended schools with the top two rankings.

However, education chiefs believe the figures – which are from August 2012 – do not tell the very latest story. The council’s own up-to-date data for November 2012 shows that 80 percent of the city’s 120 primary schools are good or outstanding.

And, for the last 20 months, no school in the city has been classed as failing by being judged ‘inadequate’ or given a ‘notice to improve’.

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 delighted with the figures in OFSTED’s annual report and huge praise must go to our schools for the amazing work they do.

“It is also testament to the extremely strong and positive relationship between schools, teaching staff, governing bodies and the local authority’s School Improvement Service in driving up standards.

“For a city the size of Liverpool, with all the challenges that deprivation levels bring, to have over three quarters of primary schools classed as good or outstanding is just fantastic.

“It places us in a really strong position to meet the increased standards demanded by OFSTED, but we are not complacent are working hard through the new Education Commission chaired by Estelle Morris to identify ways in which we can further improve.”

Support provided by the council’s School Improvement Service to help them improve includes regularly reviewing recommendations made by Ofsted and sharing best practice from other schools across the city.