An East London borough is full of top-rated schools with great ratings from the education watchdog Ofsted. Around 97 per cent of primary and secondary schools in Tower Hamlets have received “Good” or “Outstanding” ratings from Ofsted, according to the local Labour Party.
The East London borough has 70 primary schools, 17 secondary schools and one all-through school for its population of around 32,000, according to the local council. An opposition councillor argued that the figure of highly-rated schools was in fact 96 per cent and that the borough had average ratings compared with other London boroughs.
But the Tower Hamlets Labour Party claimed the figures showed the strong record of the borough’s Labour council on education. The group posted the figures on social media as part of its re-election campaign ahead of elections for the council and mayor of Tower Hamlets on May 5.
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The group published a flyer which said: “Performance at primary and secondary schools far exceeds national levels an 97 per cent of our local authority schools are judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.” The party added online: “Our great local schools provide a strong foundation for our children to be successful. We will continue to support schools to deliver the highest educational standards, together with enriching opportunities for our youngsters, widening their horizons.”
However, Independent-Conservative councillor Andrew Wood disputed the claim. He argued that while there were good things in the Tower Hamlets education system, it was at a standard level for London. He said online: “We have very highly rated nursery and special schools that lift up the average slightly because when you look at Secondary and Primary local authority schools, our schools in Tower Hamlets are average for London ranking around 16th out of 32. In other words our schools are average for London (London ranks more highly than the rest of the country).”
According to Ofsted data, just over 20 per cent of Tower Hamlets schools are rated “Outstanding” – the watchdog’s best rating – while the vast majority have “Good” ratings. Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs praised the quality of schools in Tower Hamlets and said the Labour council in the borough had improved education while in office.
He said: “Our schools offer an excellent education to our children and help set young people up for future success. We are proud of what they achieve with the children and families of Tower Hamlets and of the fact that 97% of our local authority schools are judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.”
“We will ensure a culture of high expectations and continual improvement in our services and schools to deliver great outcomes. The pressures on school funding from the Government remain a significant challenge. However, our success, under Labour leadership, has been based on a strong partnership, between the Council, schools, and the community.”