Following adverse publicity from Ofsted on Peterborough’s secondary education provision, they sent Sean Harford, Director of Delivery Education and Skills to speak to the BBC. This is what he said.
08:29 Friday 21st June 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
PAUL STAINTON: Peterborough schools are failing the city’s poorest children, according to a new report by Ofsted. ..Is it really fair on the Council though, because Peterborough is by its very nature one of the most multi-cultural cities in the UK. And a lot of the pupils have English as an additional language, or are from an ethnic minority, who understandably might struggle more in exams. Is it fair really to judge Peterborough alongside other cities?
SEAN HARFORD: Well I think you’d be surprised at that, because actually our second language .. second English language children are doing better across the country than are white disadvantaged children. So actually you might argue it’s an advantage in that respect. .. On an individual school basis, the Council needs to decide, and also the DfE, sorry Department for Education needs to decide you know whether the school, how the school needs to improve. It could be that you know a change of structure, maybe academisation ..
a: they appear to have sent someone who completely fails to identify the complex nature of Peterborough’s demographic make-up, and
b: they appear to be promoting a political solution to the issue they have failed to identify correctly.
In this case you have to sympathise with Jonathan Lewis, having to deal with these people. Have Ofsted lost their way?