Telford primary schools among the worst in Britain, says Ofsted report

Telford’s primary schools are among the worst-performing in Britain, a shock new Ofsted report has revealed.

Just 53 per cent of pupils are in primary schools in Telford & Wrekin which are rated as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by inspectors – the fifth worst record in the entire country.

And primary schools in Shropshire have also fared badly, with only 59 per cent rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

Officials at Telford & Wrekin Council are disappointed, but they say the figures are misleading.

The report has been criticised by the National Union of Teachers, which said it was part of education secretary Michael Gove’s effort to turn more schools into academies.

The Ofsted report comes after a tougher inspection regime was launched in September. The previous ‘satisfactory’ grade was replaced with a ‘requires improvement’ assessment.

The figures puts Shropshire Council in the bottom 25 out of 150 local authorities. Shropshire Council was 128th, with Telford & Wrekin 146th. Camden in London came top, with 92 per cent of schools in the top two categories.

In his first annual report, Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said more than two million children were still not getting a decent education.

“While some of these schools are inadequate, most are not – they are just not good enough,” his report said.

“There are many reasons for this, but in our experience inconsistency or too much prescription in teaching is almost always at the root.

“I intend, from January, to use Ofsted’s new regional structure to inquire further into areas that are performing badly.”

Councillor Paul Watling, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “We are dis- appointed Ofsted has chosen to publish this information in this way, which we feel gives a misleading picture to parents.

“In fact, in Telford and Wrekin we have no primary schools below Government floor standards in English and Maths and in the last five years, have had no primary schools judged ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.”

Currently we have one that in the ‘notice to improve’ category.”

By Chris Burn

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Comments for: "Telford primary schools among the worst in Britain, says Ofsted report"

The Original Jake

Is there a corresponding heat map showing levels of investment and funding? That would make an interesting correlation.


I would be interested if there was a corresponding heat map showing the amount of Gobbledygook posted on the Shropshire Star

Michael Wilkinson

I do not believe that the OFSTED inspections have great value or that they perform a good service. How can you inspect the school and the way it runs if you give notice of your intended visit allowing the school time to prepare and catch up to date on all the things it should be doing routinely but hasn't.

The best way by far would be to turn up unannounced and inspect the school as it is run on a daily basis. Only that way can you gauge a schools efficiency and its quality of provision of services to its pupils which after all is what it is there for.

According to Ofsted's figures 47% of pupils are in primary schools that are below good in the Telford and Wrekin area although Cllr Paul Watling states that we have no primary schools below government floor standards in English and maths which leaves by their omission, all the other subjects which must mean that they ARE below floor standard..

I presume that the phrase, floor standard,in English ,alludes to a baseline for minimum standard !

Shrewsbury Mum

I don't live in Telford, so am not an apologist for their results, but in case you are interested, the floor standards only apply to English and Maths, the other subjects aren't given floor standards or targets by the government. At the moment, at least 60% of children in year 6 have to achieve at least a Level4 in English and Maths in a primary school if it is to reach the floor standard, but of course many schools that have hit the floor standard have higher results than that.

Michael Wilkinson

Thank you Shrewsbury Mum for that information,I was unaware of the levels of achievement being set,my education never ceases.

It would perhaps be prudent for officials making statements to the press not to use education terminology which is not in common use by the public.


Sounds like because we have no schools BELOW floor standards, floor standards are therefore the acceptable norm in T&W primary schools. No wonder businesses complain about 'unemployability' ten years down the line and prefer to use migrant labour educated elsewhere.

And of course the political prescription to teach to the lowest common denominator rather than seeking out the brightest and best and encouraging them to achieve their true potential rather than be subsumed by mediocrity in the cause of equality.


“In fact, in Telford and Wrekin we have no primary schools below Government floor standards in English and Maths.."

So, 'floor standards' are an acceptable standard for T&W Council. What a damning admission.

Get real. Why are local businesses finding over 50% of school leaver applicants to be 'unemployable'? This is education set to the lowest common denominator, not allowing and inspiring children to aspire and achieve. The 'politically correct' movement of successive Labour administrations in Telford..

“There are many reasons for this, but in our experience inconsistency or too much prescription in teaching is almost always at the root."

The Telford prescription is suppression of opportunity or recognition in the pursuit of equality - the equality of mediocrity.


What never seems to get mentioned is how ridiculous the Ofsted assessments are, which means the problem is much more serious than is being reported.

Ofsted give plenty of warning and notice of an inspection so schools have time to prepare for the visit. This means that schools on a typical day will be much worse than on the day of inspection.

Inspections should be without warning!

Miss Trunchbull

"We are dis-appointed ...", "we feel gives a misleading picture to parents."

Is that the best that the T&W Cabinet member can come up with?? Pathetic!

T&W may have no primary schools below Gov't floor standards etc etc, but it doesn't hide the fact that families in T&W are getting significantly a poorer standard of primary school teaching than most of the rest of the country.

What has Cllr Watling got to say to the 47% of pupils who are not in a school rated as good or outstanding?

Residents of T&W need a much more robust statement from the Council and details of how T&W plan to remedy the situation. If not the current Councillors will certainly be 'out' at the next elections.

Brian Davies

Telford and Shropshire LEAs employ Education Advisers who are attached to groups of schools and whose everyday role is supporting Heads and developing teaching staff . I understand that many of these same Advisers are also qualified Ofsted inspectors, some actually leading Ofsted teams, who change their Advisory hats and perform Ofsted inspections of schools, both in-County and with neighbouring LEAs. How can such a schizophrenic paradoxical state of affairs exist, with the same individuals presumably taking a pride in the benefits they bring to schools as Advisers, then as Ofsted Inspectors condemning at least some of those same schools as being inadequate ?

Shrewsbury Mum

It is strange that at the same time that the government is in the process of stopping councils from running schools, a new league table appears comparing their performance, particularly as academies are included, which aren't even run by councils. Rating areas purely on how many of their schools are 'outstanding' or 'good' according to Ofsted seems a bit of a crude way of doing it to me. Is an area with 30 'good' schools and 10 'inadequate' better than one with 20 'good' schools and 20 'satisfactory' ones? This seems more about pushing Michael Gove's redefinition of 'satisfactory' as 'not good enough' and no doubt supporting the rest of his divisive political agenda than giving any meaningful analysis of education.


Irrespective of whether Ofsted is the best way of assessing schools it the same for every school in the country - shout and scream all you like - our schools are not as good as in other areas of the country.

I've taught in most primary schools in the TWC area and the differences between schools is significant. Some like Meadows in Ketley are outstanding in all areas. Some lack enthusiasm from the staff that clearly rubs off on the pupils.

I was temping at one school and was left to run an after school club, I didn't need to present my CRB check on arrival and was abandoned by all staff, after the club i was left to dismiss children of whom I didn't know. I ended up forcing the reception door, to call my contact and the head teacher neither answered. I ended up phoning all the parents to find out who was authorised to walk home alone and who was to be collected.

If basic child protection procedures can't be followed how can we expect to achieve a decent Ofsted report? It's a shame that good schools are tarnished in this same report!

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