Education a priority as civic leader deflects criticism from schools
EDUCATION has been outlined as a key priority for Derby as the city council's leader criticised the number of inspections carried out by the Government.
Councillor Paul Bayliss said in his blog: "The number of Ofsted inspections in this one school term has honestly been unbelievable.
"We only have 101 schools, including academies, and there have been 19 inspections.
"Someone joked to me that we should change the road signs to say 'City of Derby... welcomes Ofsted' as the inspectors are such frequent visitors."
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He also defended the schools in Derby against the criticism they have received nationally.
As highlighted in the Telegraph, this criticism was based on old statistics.
Mr Bayliss said: "Derby's schools have come in for some criticism recently and, while there is clearly room for improvement, we mustn't ignore the massive efforts already being made to help pupils achieve their learning potential.
"A lot has been made of a statistic quoted in Ofsted's annual report that the city is second from bottom in terms of the percentage of pupils attending a good or outstanding primary school.
"However, this is based on evidence from inspection and regulatory visits carried out between September 2011 and August 2012.
"Since September 2012, our schools have been alive with Ofsted inspectors.
"There were six school inspections in the first half of the autumn term and every single school was rated as good."
At a recent meeting to discuss the city's priorities, Mr Bayliss outlined education as key and said he was proud of what schools in Derby had achieved and the improvements they have made.
"We want our children to thrive at school and to take advantage of the employment opportunities on our doorstep," he said.
"We have some fantastic businesses in Derby requiring highly-skilled employees and apprentices and we want local children to have the abilities and qualifications to fill those posts."