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Doncaster school support branded ineffective

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Doncaster MBC’ s school improvement service is ineffective, Ofsted inspectors have said.

The finding came after ministers last year handed the running of the council’s children’s services to an independent trust.

The trust is currently being established and is due to become operational in October.

Ofsted said more than half of the town’s pupils attended a school that was either inadequate or required improvement.

Inspectors decided Doncaster’s system for collecting and analysing schools’ performance data was “not fit for purpose”, with a lack of formal records of governors’ performance. However, they found Doncaster had done well in reducing pupil exclusions.

Nick Hudson, Ofsted’s director for the north-east, Yorkshire and Humber region, said: “That Doncaster’s systems for analysing school data are not fit for purpose is a matter for concern.

“To solve any problem you must identify it first. So I believe that this report is a significant step towards better education for pupils in Doncaster.”

Ofsted said the council must intervene early when schools showed signs of failing, improve its data collection and encourage schools to work together to improve teaching quality. It will re-inspect in a year’s time.

Nuala Fennelly (Lab), cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said: “Although the conclusion of the inspectors was that we clearly are not yet in the shape we want to be, we have achieved a lot in a short space of time and from a relatively low base in terms of adequate support.

“I am under no illusions that we have some considerable progress to make and we will do.”


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