More than a third of Wigan secondary schools are falling behind the required standard

No Wigan secondary school is currently rated as outstanding
No Wigan secondary school is currently rated as outstanding

More than a third of Wigan secondary schools are falling behind the required standard, the education watchdog says.


Of the 19 schools catering for 11 to 16-year-olds in the borough, Ofsted rates two as inadequate, its lowest mark, while five require improvement, as of September 30. Its latest figures list none as outstanding and 12 as good.

The regulator visits all new schools, including academies, within three years of opening.

Those requiring improvement will be inspected again within 30 months, while those rated inadequate now face mandatory conversion into academies, funded directly by central government.

In Wigan, there are 129 schools registered with Ofsted including primaries, four of which are rated inadequate while seven require improvement – meaning nine per cent overall are below standard.

This is, though, slightly below the 13 per cent average for the North West.

Across England, 20 per cent of all schools were classed as outstanding, 66 per cent good, 10 per cent requires improvement and four per cent inadequate.

But with more than 1,000 “outstanding” state schools going without an inspection in a decade, the National Education Union warned this did not accurately reflect the quality of education they offer.

Dr Mary Bousted, the union’s joint general secretary, said: “The fact that some schools haven’t been inspected for over 10 years demonstrates that the information Ofsted provides is misleading at best and may be downright wrong. This is yet another reason that Ofsted is past its sell-by date.”

The Department for Education recently announced it will consult on plans to remove the exemption for outstanding schools, a move Ofsted says it welcomes.

A spokeswoman for the regulator said: “Routine inspection assures both parents and schools that the quality of education on offer is of a good standard.

In the interim, inspectors can and do go into outstanding rated schools if necessary.”

A DfE spokeswoman added: “This Government is committed to providing world-class education for all students and, where a school is judged as inadequate by Ofsted, the Department will not hesitate to step in and ensure that swift improvements are made so that all children at the school can receive the education they deserve.

“The gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed considerably in both primary and secondary schools since 2011.

“Teachers and school leaders are helping to drive up standards right across the country.”