Stoke-on-Trent education chief blames poor Ofsted league results on academies

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A Stoke-on-Trent education chief has called on the Government to help the city’s struggling academies.

Cllr Janine Bridges spoke out after latest Ofsted reports show Stoke-on-Trent schools are 141 out of 151 in UK league tables.

Cllr Bridges (pictured), Cabinet member for education and economy for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said one of the reasons the city was so low was down to academies and the way they are funded.

She claimed academies are the reason Stoke-on-Trent is so low in the tables, and there is nothing that Stoke-on-Trent City Council can do.

She said: “We need the Government to put the money in.

“We have no revenue to help them.”

Academies are currently funded directly by central government, whereas schools receive their funding from local education authorities like the city council.

Cllr Bridges added: “I do not think the government has thought through the academies.”

In the latest Ofsted tables, Birches Head Academy in Stoke-on-Trent is rated as well below average, with only 45 per cent of students achieving grade C or better in English and maths.

The Academy declined to comment on the report.

Whereas St Joseph’s College, on London Road, has been rated above average, with 93 per cent of students getting a grade C or better in English and Maths.

Ofsted reports show Stoke-on-Trent has three per cent of its schools rated as inadequate, while the UK average is two per cent.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of Ofsted, said the number of poorly performing schools in the north and East Midlands is a serious problem.

Sharon Wilde, GMB National Schools Officer, said: “Sir Michael’s report is nothing short of chilling – the idea there are pockets of forgotten schools across the country where children are being left behind is storing up terrible uncertainty for the future.”

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