SOUTHAMPTON had one of the lowest proportions of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ primary schools in the country this year – according to Ofsted.

But city eduction chiefs have refused to acknowledge the issue, instead claiming Southampton is in line with the national average.

It comes after Ofsted released its annual chief inspector’s report yesterday, in which it was revealed that one fifth of all primary schools in the city required improvement as of August 2017.

According to Ofsted’s report, 79 per cent of primary schools in Southampton were rated good or outstanding last year, significantly lower than both Portsmouth and Hampshire.

Only Bracknell Forest, in Berkshire, finished with a lower percentage in the south east region.

According to Ofsted, this ranks Southampton in the bottom 10 per cent nationally.

The figures also showed a 10 per cent dip in the number of good or outstanding primary schools in the city compared to 2016 – also described as one of the biggest drops across the country.

The report singled out one city school which it said not improved its below-average Ofsted rating in several years.

But when asked how the council planned to help schools make the necessary improvements, city council education chief Darren Paffey was too busy to comment.

Instead, councillor Paffey, who was paid £16,000 in council salary and expenses last year, instructed press officers to comment on his behalf.

The statement said Southampton’s figures were “in line with national performance”.

It added:”Southampton City Council is committed to working in partnership to give children and young people a good start in life and will continue to support schools that need to make improvements.”

Education bosses added late last night that the authority sends out a schools improvement officer to all city council-run schools each year.

The officer will then compile a detailed written report, outlining the school’s strengths and weaknesses.

The council says this has led to a progressive improvement in the quality of education provision.

Alongside the report, Ofsted published a list of 130 schools which had not improved on their poor Ofsted rating in a decade.

St Monica’s in Sholing appeared in that list - although it was later removed.

The council-run primary school has been given a three rating – previously ‘satisfactory’ but now ‘requires improvement’ – since its last 'good' inspection in 2007.

In its most recent report the school, which has a capacity for up to 650 pupils, was told by inspectors that it needed to improve in all areas.

Its leaders where criticised for “not providing a good education”, while its teaching was labelled “inconsistent”.

The Echo attempted to contact current head-teacher, Kathryn Bevan-Mackie, but she was unavailable for comment.

Outside of the city, Ofsted singled out The Hamble School for praise after its recent success.

The secondary school was rated 'good' this year, after previously being told it required improvement.

In its most recent report, an inspector said the school's teaching had improved "significantly".