Schools must have high aspirations for every child

Councillor Isobel Ballsdon is Reading Conservatives lead spokesperson for Education. She writes,

Last week Labour-run Reading Borough Council (RBC) was slammed by Ofsted for failing primary school children, with over a quarter of pupils not receiving a good education.  Sir Robin Bosher's (Ofsted's South East Regional Director) letter to RBC dated 19 January 2015 was published, together with this press release. 

In his letter Sir Robin Bosher said:  "there has been a sharp rise in the number of schools judged to be inadequate in Reading since October 2013."  "Two primary schools were judged to be inadequate in October 2014, bringing the total number of schools judged to be inadequate in the last year to six."

The Ofsted Director added that: "...the council has failed to take action to prevent schools deteriorating to the point where they now require special measures...the authority has not provided sufficient challenge or support to schools to enable them to improve quickly enough."

As chairman of a local school’s governing body, I know that strong leadership by the head teacher is fundamental to providing an outstanding education, together with plenty of rigour and challenge from the governing body.  Schools need to use their ability to remove inadequate teachers if the individuals cannot be supported to raise their performance within a short timescale. It is unfair on pupils to have their life-chances impeded by sub-standard teaching.  Schools need to have high aspirations for each child, no matter what the child's background.  Every pupil needs to be supported and inspired by their teachers to achieve to the best of their ability.