Ofsted challenges Greenwich over Sixth Form education

At Greenwich Council’s Cabinet last week Labour Councillors were presented with a report from Ofsted which challenged the Council over the performance of primary schools and Sixth Forms in the borough. 


While the rate of progress in secondary schools at GCSE on the 5A* to C measure was complimented as improving ‘at a faster pace than in similar areas and nationally’ the comment concerning Greenwich Sixth Forms noted that:


“The proportion of young people that are gaining qualifications by the age of 19 remains lower than in similar areas and nationally.  Despite a significant improvement in 2010, the overall pace of improvement has not been as rapid as is the average elsewhere over the last four years.”


No Labour Councillor asked a question concerning how the Sixth Form situation might be improved at the Cabinet meeting.


The report also suggested that the quality of primary schools was an area for improvement, suggesting that with over 40% of primary schools the quality of provision was only satisfactory and this needed to improve. 


Leader of Greenwich Conservative Cllr Spencer Drury said “The Ofsted report is something of a mixed bag, with compliments for primary schools as improving test results at 11, but still a suggestion that this is an area for improvement.”


“The Ofsted report was clear and unambiguous in its concern  for students in Greenwich schools and Sixth Forms after GCSE.  The Council needs a serious plan as it’s increasingly letting down our post-16 students.  It is vital that Sixth Formers are prepared for the world of work.  They need the qualifications and experiences to do well in the future and Greenwich Council need to do something about this.”


Spencer also noted that the plaudits for the GCSE results were richly deserved based upon the 5 A* to C including English and Maths measure, but this might be a misleading picture if in January the Government’s new English Baccalaureate measure (which is 5 GCSEs including English, Maths, a Science, a foreign language and history/geography) showed a decline.


Greenwich Conservatives are also concerned about a report published this week by the think tank the ‘Centre Forum’ in which it was noted that Greenwich Council was ranked 27th out of 31 London Boroughs for its ability to allow pupils to perform better than expected at GCSE (pages 34-35) given their income backgrounds.


  1. The full Ofsted report can be found at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/greenwich
  2. The report by the Centre Forum into schooling in London can be found at http://www.centreforum.org/assets/pubs/london-schooling.pdf