Barnsley has some of the worst performing secondary schools in the country, according to an annual report by Ofsted, the Government’s inspection watchdog.
Ofsted claim that only 20 per cent of the borough’s secondary schools are rated as good or outstanding, despite a massive spending programme which has seen every secondary in the town rebuilt.
The latest school league tables reveal only one Barnsley secondary – Penistone Grammar – had more than 50 per cent of pupils gaining five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and Maths, the Government’s preferred yardstick.
Four secondaries had pass rates of under 10 per cent – Carlton, Priory, Willowgarth and Wombwell.
As a result of the report, Ofsted has appointed a ‘regional troubleshooter’ in an attempt to drive up school standards.
Nick Hudson, who is moving from Wigan, one of the top 10 education authorities in the country, will be in charge of the whole of Yorkshire and Humber. He will head teams of inspectors who will focus on challenging and supporting schools, colleges and academies which are not meeting required standards.
Coun Tim Cheetham, Barnsley Council’s cabinet spokesman for Children Young People and Families, said: “We acknowledge the comments on the educational performance of schools in Barnsley contained in HMCI’s Annual report.
“Whilst sharing the concerns expressed in relation to secondary schools we also note the significant and sustained improvement in both our Early Years provision and primary schools.
“Ofsted inspections show that currently 76 per cent of this provision is judged to be good or outstanding.”