30/10/2014

Schools Are Underperforming - NAO

Schools are underperforming despite £382 million being invested every year, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The NAO found that the Department for Education and others, such as the Education Funding Agency and local authorities, have not tackled underperformance consistently.

The spending watchdog, therefore, said it cannot conclude that the oversight system for maintained schools and academies is achieving value for money.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: "The Department for Education's system for overseeing schools is still developing. The Department has been clear about the need for schools to improve and nationally education performance has done so.

"But there are significant gaps in the Department's understanding of what works, and the information it has about some important aspects of school performance is limited.Greater school autonomy needs to be coupled with effective oversight and assurance. The Department has made some improvements but has further to go."

The Department has set the tone from the top by being clear about what constitutes unacceptable educational performance. Nationally, educational performance has improved but a significant number of children still attend underperforming schools. The NAO estimates that in 2013/14, 1.6 million children (23%) were not attending a school rated as 'good' or 'outstanding' by Ofsted.

(CD/JP)

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