THE authority leading the drive to turn around Uttoxeter’s failing schools has been slammed by Ofsted for its education improvement services.
With five Uttoxeter schools being deemed by the watchdog to require improvement, Staffordshire County Council has launched a review that could revamp the town’s education system.
But the council itself has now come under fire from Ofsted in a recent report and Labour councillors opposing the ruling Tory regime claim ‘things are going backwards’.
Ofsted’s report states the council is ‘not fully effective in identifying strengths in good and outstanding schools and using these to help other schools improve’.
It also criticises changes made last year, when school services were outsourced in a partnership with Capita called Entrust.
The move has, according to Ofsted, resulted in a ‘lack of clarity’ for head teacher and governors and the watchdog is ‘less positive about local authority leadership than in the past’.
The county council’s Labour shadow education chief, Sue Woodward, said: “This really is a damning verdict on the way the Conservative administration at Staffordshire County Council has dealt with less than adequate results.
“While they have been rearranging the deckchairs, they have been failing our schools and, more importantly, failing our children.”
The authority’s education boss, Ben Adams, said: “We review performance regularly and had acted before the inspection, so the speed and strength of our interventions in schools had already improved, because we want the best possible education for every child in the county.
“The Learning and Skills Strategy said there was room for improvement within schools and in the way we challenged them to do better, so since September we have been doing things differently and have delivered many training and support packages for school head teachers, staff and governors through Entrust and there are many more to come.”