Walsall education fails children and threatens jobs claim Labour

Cllr Barbara Cassidy, Labour spokesperson for education, said the latest key stage two results showed the borough is continuing to fail children.

Walsall council must do more to improve education in the borough after 12 years of failure which threatens the long term future of the borough.

League tables show Walsall is in the bottom six worst performing local authorities in the country with only 75 per cent of pupils achieving Level 4 or above.

Responding to the publication of the figures, she said: “These figures are not a complete picture of the situation in Walsall and I’m told they may be revised upwards. What is clear though is the Conservative group has presided over a pitiable record for the past 12 years resulting in them failing children, their parents and schools.”

“The immediate impact on children lives is obvious but the added knock-on-effects are deeply worrying on a wider scale. Employers offering highly skilled jobs will not wish to turn to a borough where educational standards are so poor.”

The key stage two results come only weeks after Ofsted published a report that showed 4 out of 10 children are being left behind in education. The alarming figures come as part of the agency’s first annual report into standards in primary schools across England and highlight the crucial role played by effective leadership in schools and local authorities.

In November Ofsted published a league ranking local authorities by its inspectors rating of schools from outstanding to poor. Walsall figured within the bottom quartile.

Cllr Cassidy said “We have some really good primary schools in Walsall but, unfortunately, in many parts of the borough we continue to fail too many children year in year out. This is unacceptable as far as I am concerned and must be put right. I know that some will be uncomfortable with naming and shaming authorities but I think Ofsted are right to make the comparison with other areas and to highlight the need for effective leadership in driving up standards of teaching and learning. Those professionals involved in running satisfactory or underperforming primary schools need to be supported to make changes so that every child has the opportunity to access a good school thereby increasing their chances in later life.

“Walsall Council’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat cabinet need to show the commitment and leadership required to turn this situation around.

Leagues tables for this year’s key stage 2 results showed that Walsall had fallen from 77th place in 2011 to 146th place in 2012, out of 152 local authorities in England and Wales.

The Ofsted report on Walsall’s LEA rating can be found here

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