Brighton and Hove finds itself significantly below the educational national average. It has been pointed out that out of the 10 secondary schools in the city, none have an outstanding Ofsted rating.
Andrew Wealls, a Conservative councillor, raised this issue during the Brighton and Hove City Council Children, Young People and Skills Committee. He believed that this is indicative of the city’s administration failing to uphold high standards.
However, this is a more nuanced issue than it at first appears, and it is debatable as to how problematic this news really is.
9 schools have a highly respectable good rating, with just one, Longhill High School, needing improvement. Work is being carried out to push these schools above their current thresholds.
Also, Jo Lyons, assistant director of children’s services, has spoken in defence of this record. She believes that the majority of schools with outstanding ratings were rated 2 to 3 years ago. This comes before receiving the outstanding verdict was made harder by Ofsted.
Although nearly a quarter of schools nationally are rated outstanding, many believe that this number will significantly drop off in the coming years. Lyons stated that: “There is a much clearer delineation between requires improvement and good.”
With Ofsted’s significant changes to its criteria, Brighton and Hove may yet find itself competing strongly with other parts of the nation. Only till will truly tell though.