Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth council's education services criticised

Portsmouth Civic Offices Image copyright Gary Reggae
Image caption Portsmouth City Council has been criticised for "slow progress and low attainment" in schools

Education authorities in Portsmouth have been heavily criticised as pupils in the area continue to "underachieve".

The government's watchdog Ofsted has said that there is a "continuing picture of slow progress and low attainment" for children in the area.

Inspectors said that restructuring services had "impeded progress" and that projects to progress disadvantaged children had had little effect.

The council said education was now seen as part of "the city's regeneration".

'City's future'

The report, made available to the public on Wednesday, said that service leaders had not provided a consistent or coherent approach in tackling stagnating results.

Ofsted inspector Sian Thornton said: "A succession of fresh-start approaches and restructuring of services have impeded progress.

"Short-term strategies, such as arrangements for cluster working between schools and an authority-wide project to promote progress for disadvantaged pupils, have been introduced and then ceased with limited effect."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Inspectors say underachievement of boys and disadvantaged pupils at primary schools in the area continues

The report said "not enough importance" had been put on school achievement.

Director of children's services and education Alison Jeffery said: "We want to play our part in helping all children in Portsmouth to achieve as well as they possibly can: they are the future of this city.

"The report is clear that children in Portsmouth have not been well served in the past and there is still work to do now.

"Ofsted recognise, however, that education is now seen as a key element in the city's regeneration, and that everyone is clear about the need for a step change."

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