One in three Walsall children attend underperforming schools – Ofsted

Council failing its children, claims Labour group.

Over 14,000 children in Walsall are attending underperforming schools, the chair of the borough’s children services scrutiny committee has revealed after another four schools were rated as inadequate by Ofsted.

Labour Councillor, Barbara Cassidy, said it’s now time Walsall’s cabinet members owned up to the perilous state of education in some parts of the borough following the news Palfrey Junior School, Kings Hill School in Darlaston, Bloxwich CE Primary and Lodge Farm JMI in Willenhall were told they must improve.

Cllr Cassidy, Labour’s spokeswoman for children’s services, said that Walsall’s Conservative and Lib Dem cabinet refuse to take responsibility for the failings. She said: “These latest findings, sadly, only confirm the Labour group was right when it called for a root and branch examination of education provision last December. The sad fact is that Walsall currently has nearly 14,500 children in schools which are significantly underperforming.”

“We have a situation in Walsall whereby the council’s political leadership are all too keen to rush to press whenever schools do well but when it comes to poor pupil attainment and school performance they either deny responsibility or blame someone else.

“Whilst I agree with the leader of the council, Mike Bird, that the inspection bar has recently been raised, I have to point out that the Tories have been happy to allow some failing schools in Walsall borough to go unchallenged for at least 10 years  – in spite of the Labour group bringing it to the attention of successive cabinet members.”

The Labour spokesperson on children’s services added; “What we need is a council with the determination to redress this poor state of affairs and ensure that all schools get the support and help they require so as to give children the education they deserve and not just pay lip service to school attainment when it suits.”