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North Yorkshire schools praised in OFSTED's annual report

Exam paper

2:30pm 23rd November 2010

Most children in England get a good start in life.

Over two thirds of providers in the early years and childcare sector are judged to be good or outstanding. There is strong provision too in the education and skills sectors. However, the quality of teaching in schools and colleges is still too variable, Ofsted reported today.

The culmination of nearly 32,000 inspections carried out during 2009/10, Ofsted’s Annual Report draws on a unique evidence base. It acknowledges many successes, but also shines a spotlight on where improvement is still required.

In North Yorkshire five social care providers, 27 early years and childcare providers, and 10 schools were judged to be outstanding in 2009/10.

They include Rossett School in Harrogate, which serves 40 feeder primary schools across the borough and swathes of north Leeds.

The school was only deemed to be ‘satisfactory’ during a previous inspection report in 2006/07, but has “improved substantially” as a result of “thoughtful leadership, good teaching and outstanding provision in areas such as the curriculum and pastoral care”.

The latest inspection report on the school also praises a caring, inclusive ethos within in the school and an innovative, creative curriculum that aids high achievement.

Also highlighted in the new report is Eskdale School in Whitby, which has retained its outstanding status having won a string of accolades and awards in recent years.

Eskdale is described as outstanding in many areas, thanks in no small part to caring, dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff and a headteacher who leads by example.

The latest report on the school also states: “Students are rightly proud of their school and of their own achievements. They are regularly consulted and influence decisions about how the school is organised.

“By the time students leave the school they are exceptionally well equipped with a broad range of skills. Their preparation for the next stage of education is exemplary.”

Ofsted’s inspections in 2009/10 focused more closely on the front-line of services. In schools and colleges, inspectors spent more time in the classroom observing lessons, while in social care there were unannounced inspections of local authorities’ contact, referral and assessment arrangements for children who may need protection.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, Christine Gilbert, said:     

“I congratulate everyone delivering outstanding services across North Yorkshire for their hard work in achieving the best for children, young people and adult learners. This level of success does not just happen by chance, it is the result of high expectations linked with dedication and serious commitment. It is good news for the local community and indeed nationally too.” 

National highlights from the report show that:

  •  Fifty six percent of the schools inspected provided their pupils with a good or outstanding education. This is in the context of a more risk-based approach to inspection in which fewer good or outstanding, and more satisfactory, inadequate and declining schools were selected for inspection.  
  • The strong performance of the early years sector was maintained, with 68% of childcare judged good or outstanding, an improvement on last year’s positive result.
  • In the learning and skills sector, 57% of general further education colleges, 48% of work-based learning and 70% of adult and community learning were judged to be good or outstanding.
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