Academies have been blamed for dragging down educational standards in Tameside after it was revealed that just half of pupils attend a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ secondary school.
Secondary schools across the country have ‘stalled’ with almost a third judged not to be good enough, according to an annual Ofsted report.
Just 49 per cent of secondary students in the borough attend a school rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by the education watchdog.
Tameside is ranked 138th out of the 150 local authorities in England.
It is also the worst in the region for primary education where 80 per cent of youngsters go to a good enough school, tying with Oldham for 91st place.
Seven of the borough’s 15 schools are now academies and no longer under local authority control.
Coun Ged Cooney, executive member for learning at Tameside council, said: “We have known for some time that the borough’s academy schools, which the council has no control over, were negatively affecting this score.
“Thirty-seven per cent of pupils attending these academies attend a good or outstanding school compared to 63 per cent for the eight schools under our jurisdiction.
“So when Sir Michael Wilshaw talks of only 50 per cent of pupils attending schools in Tameside classed as good or better, this is disproportionately impacted by academies.”
But Stephen Ball, principal at New Charter Academy in Ashton which was told by Ofsted last year that it required improvement, said: “New Charter Academy provides a rich and stimulating education and it’s not surprising it’s become one of Tameside’s most popular schools and is set firmly on an upward trajectory.”
Responding to the report by Ofsted Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, Coun Cooney added that the council was keen to work with academies to improve standards across the board.
He added: “We in common with Sir Michael believe that we should be doing all that we can to create good and outstanding schools regardless of whether they are academies.
“However we are frustrated that we have no powers to work with these schools and we are not clear who is doing this, if it is happening at all.
“We have been asking Sir Michael, as well as the Department for Education, for some time, to come to Tameside to work with us to improve the academy scores which will positively affect our overall score going forward. To date they have not taken up our offer.”
Ofsted inspections give schools one of four overall ratings – inadequate, requires improvement, good or outstanding.
Tameside’s secondary schools are listed below with their current rating and the date of the last inspection.
Alder Community High School – Good (June 2014).
Astley Sports College and Community High School – Requires improvement (June 2014).
Denton Community College – Requires improvement (October 2013).
Hyde Community College – Good (May 2014).
Longdendale Community Language College – Requires improvement (September 2013).
Mossley Hollins High School – Outstanding (November 2014).
St Damian’s RC Science College – Good (March 2014).
St Thomas More RC College – Good (December 2012).
All Saints Catholic College – Good (December 2012).
Audenshaw School – Inadequate (October 2014).
Copley High School – Good (November 2012).
Droylsden Academy – Inadequate (March 2014).
Fairfield High School for Girls – Outstanding (January 2013).
New Charter Academy – Requires improvement (March 2013).
West Hill School – Inadequate (December 2013).