Local school performance figures produced by Tory Peer Lord Heseltine in his recent report on the future of the Tees Valley “were false and outdated” according to Redcar and Cleveland’s Education Cabinet Member, Councillor Craig Hannaway and the Borough’s two MP’s, Anna Turley and Tom Blenkinsop.
The figures were included in a commentary on what Lord Heseltine said was “poor attainment judgement on local schools” and which required, in his words, “bloody minded oversight” to correct.
Craig said today (20th June 2016) “Naturally we sought to analyse his findings insofar as schools in Redcar and Cleveland were concerned and what we found set us back. He said three local schools – Errington Primary in Marske, Highcliffe Primary in Guisborough and the Outwood Bydales Academy in Marske – had “required improvement” status. Yet it transpires that he was basing this on OFSTED reports now overtaken by new reports and results, all of which show marked “improvement.” The OFSTED reports he relied on were old ones, dating from the early part of 2014 for the primary schools and late 2013 for Bydales School.”
“The later OFSTED’s from April this year for the two primaries both showed that they were now officially recorded as “good”, and whilst Bydales as an academy school has not yet had a fresh OFSTED, official figures from this year show tremendous improvement in a number of key curriculum areas there. All this was made known to the people preparing Lord Heseltine’s report but was ignored in terms of the commentary. Indeed Council officers seeing a draft of the report pointed these facts out. Again, this was ignored. It seems that the Heseltine agenda was to hype up alleged “inadequate performance” against the true facts of overall improvement whilst ignoring the other fact that primary school performance in our Borough is amongst the best in the land – a fact commented on recently by OFSTED boss, Sir Michael Wilshaw.”
Tom Blenkinsop said “I called the Heseltine report a document full of re-cycled ideas and facts. Here we see how he was even replying on out of date and overtaken recycled facts. This shoddiness in an official government report is simply maladministration of the part of Lord Heseltine’s team. These schools deserve better”
Anna Turley said “This document was presented as one “centred” in Lord Heseltine’s own words, on the need for local councils and academies to boost “poor” education – even when the facts showed that this poor performance in a number of schools had been conquered. I intend to ask questions about this when parliament returns as the report simply inflicts reputational damage on schools that do not deserve this kind of criticism.”