More Leeds schools are rated as good

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PARENTS in Leeds are more likely to be able to send their child to a good school than almost anywhere else in Yorkshire, according to new Ofsted figures.

Tables show that 81 per cent of schools in the city are rated as either good or outstanding.

Across Yorkshire that figure is 74 per cent.

Leeds is one of just two of the 15 education authority areas in the region with more good schools than the national average.

Only Calderdale has more good or outstanding schools.

The figures also suggest Ofsted inspections are improving in the city year-on-year despite a tougher inspection framework.

Ofsted can give schools one of four ratings: outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

Before September 2012 the third category was satisfactory but Ofsted have changed this to “requires improvement” amid fears that the satisfactory judgement had led to coasting schools and underperformance. Now all schools are expected to be rated at least good.

The latest figures which show how all 259 of Leeds’ state schools were rated at the end of 2013 reveal that almost one-in-five ( 18 per cent) were judged to be outstanding and another 63 per cent - 163 schools- were found to be good.

There were three per cent - nine schools - rated inadequate schools and 16 per cent in the category above. The figure of 19 per cent schools being rated as less than good compares with 31 per cent at the start of 2012/13 and 36 per cent at the start of 2010/11.

However the picture was much gloomier for Yorkshire schools on the whole.

The region had the lowest level of good schools in the country.

More than 550 schools in Yorkshire were in the bottom two Ofsted categories at the end of last year according to the new figures.

This was just over a quarter of all schools in the region.

Separate national figures out yesterday reveal the scale of complaints about Ofsted inspections with 1,429 made in the last year.

Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers said there were concerns about the “variable” quality of inspections.Headteachers believe that if they complain, they will be reinspected under a harsher regime,” he said.

An Ofsted spokesman said: “The proportion of complaints Ofsted has received from schools has stayed broadly the same in recent years, despite the fact that we have set the bar higher for them.

“We take every complaint seriously and undertake thorough investigations. We have no evidence to support the view that schools are reluctant to complain to Ofsted in case it affects their rating.”

Faye Clayton from Thorpe Primary School takes part in the 'I Am' arts project by creating her shoebox. Picture Scott Merrylees.

Leeds's Thorpe Primary School pupils explore identity through art