By ANISAH ARIF
Kirklees had more exclusions than average last year, according to education watchdog, Ofsted.
The annual report also revealed that students scored ‘significantly below’ average for their progress at Key Stage 4 – pupils aged 14 to 16.
Despite 83% of state funded primary schools in Kirklees were rated outstanding or good by Ofsted, (August 31 2018), this was still 4% lower than the average for England.
However, this result was better than the Yorkshire and Humber which received 82%. Among the state funded schools in the borough, 71% were rated good or outstanding compared to 75% in England. This was a fall of 7% compared to the previous academic year.
However, again, it was better than the average of Yorkshire and Humber which was 68% and significantly better than the lowest scoring borough, Barnsley, where just 40% of secondary schools were rated good or outstanding.
Achievement among pupils in Kirklees was also below the national average.
At Key Stage 2 – pupils aged seven to 11 – 61% of pupils reached the expected standard compared to 64% in England.
And at Key Stage 4 pupils scored ‘significantly below’ average for their progress and lower than average for attainment.
The exclusion rate at Kirklees schools was higher than the average for England. There were 2,929 fixed period exclusions in Kirklees secondary schools in 2016/17.
That’s a fixed period exclusion rate of 11.1% per pupil enrolments compared to 9.4% across England. It was, however, better than the rate for Yorkshire and the Humber which stood at 15.99%
Ofsted Yorkshire and Humber Director, Cathy Kirby, commented: “I am pleased to be able to report that early years provision in the region continues to give our youngest children the best start in life, with 94% of childminders and 95% of nurseries and pre-schools rated good or outstanding.
“Unfortunately, school age children do not fare as well. Inspection outcomes remain stubbornly below the national average at both primary and secondary level. There remains wide variation within the region at primary level.
“At secondary school level, the percentage of schools that are good or better dropped to 68%, which is well below national average…”
She added: “As I have said before, I continue to be concerned about exclusions in the region. Yorkshire and Humber have the highest rate of exclusions anywhere in England.”
But she also added: “My conversations with stakeholders and evidence from inspections makes me cautiously optimistic that the message to reduce the number of young people excluded from school for fixed periods is being heard and acted upon.”
Kirklees Council said 79% of its secondary schools were rated good or outstanding, according to newer figures which also place it above the newer Yorkshire and Humber average (76%).