Ofsted has criticised a local authority in Dorset, saying it has failed to tackle high levels of disadvantage amongst local pupils.
The education inspectorate wrote to Poole Borough Counsel insisting that the authority address the apparently neglected problem “without delay”. The Council had displayed a lack of vision and strategy as children from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds continue to perform badly in Poole schools, the letter claimed.
“Poor challenge by the local authority over time has led to a slow pace of improvement in Poole’s primary and secondary schools. As a result, the outcomes for pupils…remain some of the lowest in the country and, from their starting points, pupils’ progress is poor.”
Existing initiatives lacked “precision and clarity, and have few targets against which to measure progress.”
A spokeswoman for the Council insisted that it was “fully committed” to the “hard-hitting” recommendations in the inspectors’ report.
“We recognise that there is much more to do and are taking proactive steps to work in partnership with school leaders to achieve more rapid and sustained improvements.”