Ofsted targets 'under-performing' Medway primary schools

School pupil
Image caption Ofsted said 8,000 Medway children were attending a primary school that was less than good

Ten Ofsted inspections are taking place across Medway in a week to find out why two in every five primary schools in the area are underperforming.

The schools watchdog said 8,000 Medway children - or 38% - were attending a primary school that was less than good.

Regional director Matthew Coffey said the inspections were to find out why Medway had a disproportionate number of underperforming primary schools.

Medway Council said it welcomed the visits and knew Medway had challenges.

Mr Coffey said the situation in Medway was much worse than the quality of primary provision across England and was "an unacceptable situation".

'Common purpose'

When asked if deprivation issues in Medway could affect schools, Mr Coffey said authorities with similar deprivation were doing well in the same challenging circumstances.

He said London had the highest deprivation levels but had the country's best performing schools.

Councillor Mike O'Brien, Medway Council's cabinet member for children's services, said he and Ofsted shared a common purpose and wanted every school to be good.

He said: "We do appreciate the challenges that are being faced but I've made it quite clear that my vision is to have the very best education system in the country down here in Medway."

He said the council had to ensure the right support was in place to enable schools to perform to a good standard.

Ofsted said its findings would be shared with the council, schools, parents and the public.

But it added if there was evidence the council was not fulfilling its statutory duty to promote high standards and fair access to educational opportunity, Ofsted may consider inspecting the authority's school improvement function.

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