MORE schools in Hampshire and Southampton are being rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted than they were last year, a report released today has revealed.

Secondary schools saw the biggest rise with 75 per cent in Southampton rated the top two marks, with a further 85 per cent in the rest of Hampshire.

This means that eight per cent more city schools were praised this year than last, and six per cent more in the county.

Primary schools in Southampton are also getting better.

Ofsted rated 80 per cent of them as Good or Outstanding – up four per cent on the previous year.

In Hampshire, 91 per cent were commended, but this was down one per cent on 2017.

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In comparison, in the South East, 89 per cent of primary schools were rated the top two marks, the same as 2017, and 83 per cent of secondary schools praised, which is up three per cent on the year before.

Nationally, 87 per cent of primary schools were rated Good or Outstanding – down one per cent, and 75 per cent of secondary schools recieved those marks too, which is the same as the year before.

Chris Russell, Ofsted’s South East director, said: “I’m really pleased that, in the South East, we have maintained our high education standards and care for children in early years, school, and post 16. This consistency is no mean feat and is a true testament to the hard work of staff, teachers, children and parents.

“We have seen schools like Cowes Enterprise College, on the Isle of Wight and Lansdowne Primary School, in Kent turn themselves.

“But, miring the success is the fact that we are not doing well enough for children who need extra support, including those on free school meals and those with special education needs and/or a disabilities (SEND).

“In the South East, children on free school meals are not catching up fast enough with their classmates. This is a sticking point and, while there have been some improvements, the education gap between children from poorer backgrounds and their peers remains wide.

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“Children with SEND are also not always receiving the support and help that they need. Of the 9 local area SEND inspections carried out so far, just under half required a written statement of action. This is just not good enough.

“And while the region is below the national figure for fixed term exclusions, we are seeing a high exclusion rates for SEND children.

“As we approach the year ahead, we are determined that by shining the spotlight on particular concerns and changing the way we inspect, Ofsted will continue to act as a force for improvement, helping to ensure that all children get the best education and care, regardless of where they live.”