Thursday, 9 July 2015

Haltwhistle Upper School Ofsted Report

I am very disappointed to see Haltwhistle Upper School facing this difficult Ofsted report. This is sad news for parents and pupils. In truth, we are seeing several schools across Northumberland, both academies and local authority schools, being judged as inadequate by Ofsted.

You can read the report here: http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/140132

Northumberland County Council's record on education is sadly very poor at the moment. The Council was ranked 132nd out of 151 local authorities for GCSE and A-Level performance and reportedly 146th of 147 for rate of improvement. Schools under Council leadership such as Hayon Bridge have also been put into special measures so I do not think this is an issues around academy status, but one about the wider performance of schools in West Tynedale.

What is now quite clear is that there is are significant issues which must be addressed across West Tynedale. We now need a sensible solution which works for all of our schools in the area. This should not be done in isolation, but with an approach across our schools in the Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge area that will deliver serious improvements to our schools.

I met with education bosses at the County Council just last month and I have meetings with the Department for Education next week to discuss the issue as a matter of urgency.

A soultion must be found quickly to ensure the best possible education for our kids here in Northumberland.