UK & World News
Ofsted: Postcode Lottery For Good Schools
More than two million children are still not getting a decent education, and a youngster's chance of attending a good school is often too dependent on where they live, Ofsted has warned.
There are stark inequalities in England's education system, with pupils in some areas of the country facing a less than 50% chance of being taught at a good or better school, the inspectorate said.
In his first annual report, Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said that for a country which wants to be a global leader, England's schools system is not good enough and must do better.
He also announced the launch of an online league table, ranking local authorities according to inspectors' ratings of schools.
The report shows that there have been improvements in the last few years, with 70% of schools now rated good or outstanding compared to 64% five years ago.
An extra half a million pupils are now being in taught in good or better schools, it says.
But it also means that almost 2.3 million children are still attending a "small minority" of schools that are less than good.
In his commentary on the report, Sir Michael said he "worries most about the 30% or so of schools which, at their last inspection, and often before that, were judged to be no better than satisfactory".
In these schools, lessons are often "formulaic", he said, with students that are not fully interested, or being stretched to reach their full potential.
He suggested that in most assessments, a rating of seven out of 10, or 70% could be seen as "fair but could do better".
The new report warns that the overall rise in the performance of England's schools masks real challenges for the education system.
It raises serious concerns about the "marked inequality of access" to a good school across the country.
A primary school pupil in England has, on average, a 69% chance of being in a good or outstanding school, it says, but in some parts of the country, a child has a better than 90% chance, and in others a less than 50% chance.
"Why is it that a child living in Derby or Doncaster local authority areas has only half the chance of attending a good or better primary or secondary school compared with a child living in Wigan or Darlington?" said Sir Michael.