Still work to be done on narrowing gap in school standards

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HAVING struggled in the past to match educational standards with the ambition to take Leeds’s schools up a league, the latest overview from Ofsted makes for encouraging reading.

The figures show that the city outperforms the national average in terms of the number of its schools that are rated outstanding or good – one of only two areas in Yorkshire to do so. The overall picture is of a steady improvement in standards over recent years.

That is not to say, however, that education bosses or individual schools can afford to rest on their laurels.

There is still a significant gap between the top schools and those at the bottom.

But while Ofsted inspections can provide a useful guide to how well a school is performing, the emphasis on results can sometimes obscure the good work being done by the teaching staff.

The truth is that children start school with different levels of ability – a factor often dictated by the effort their parents put in at home to prepare them for the start of their education.

Nevertheless, it is important that renewed effort is put into narrowing the gap in standards and pupil attainment between the highest and lowest performing schools.

A sharing of expertise and a continued commitment to tackling areas in need of improvement will help to build on the progress being made generally.

The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds.

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