Wolverhampton City Council is working closely with local schools to continue the steady improvement in education in the city.

Ofsted published the findings of its recent focused inspection of education in the city today (Thursday 11 September, 2014) and highlighted a number of strengths and areas for development.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: "We're committed to doing all we can to help our schools improve and to driving up standards for our children and young people.

"It's the job of headteachers and schools to promote and achieve high standards, but it is also the job of the council to ensure they are supported to do this.

"We welcome the findings of this recent Ofsted inspection, which highlight a number of areas in which Wolverhampton's education system is performing well, and a number of areas where we must make improvements.

"We recognise the issues that have been raised and we agree with Ofsted that it is unacceptable that not enough pupils in Wolverhampton are currently students at high performing schools.

"As we highlighted during the inspection, we are already taking important steps to improve educational attainment - some of which are already beginning to bear fruit.

"We have bolstered our monitoring systems focussed on improving standards and identifying underperforming schools so that we can offer support as necessary - and the inspector noted a number of instances in which the council has responded decisively to support struggling schools.

"She also noted the additional support we have brokered to improve children's progress at the Early Years Foundation Stage, and this year we've seen some notable improvements at Early Years as well as Year 1 Phonics and Key Stages 1 and 2 - with young people at each level recording the city's best ever outcomes. Indeed, outcomes at Key Stage 2 saw Wolverhampton move up from 104th to 70th in the national standings this year.

"We helped schools achieve this by establishing an Early Years and Key Stage One improvement programme supported by the Local Education Partnership.

"This has seen a dedicated team visit various local schools to provide intensive support, share best practice and develop learning materials. The schools will then work closely alongside one another within cluster groups, helping each other continue to improve and develop.

"We are aware that engagement and communication with our schools hasn't been as robust as it should have been and so this term we have launched a new, weekly briefing between headteachers and the authority through which we will share developments and best practice and address any concerns schools may have.

"We are also confident that our wider School Improvement Strategy, which we are currently developing with headteachers, will help us continue to drive up standards so that our children and young people get the best education possible.

"We know that all of us - schools, governors, parents and the council - have much more to do to continue improving standards from Early Years right through to Key Stage 4, and we believe the steps that we are taking will help us achieve this."

He added: "I'd like to thank all the schools which took part in the recent inspection and also take this opportunity to congratulate the five schools which recorded improved inspection grades as a result."

  • released: Thursday 11 September, 2014