SCHOOL pupils in South Tyneside have a better chance of attending a highly-rated secondary school than their North East counterparts.
A report from school inspection body Ofsted has revealed that 90 per cent of borough pupils attend a secondary school that is classed as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
That figure is higher than in neighbouring areas. The figure for Gateshead is 78 per cent; Newcastle, 75 per cent; North Tyneside, 71 per cent, and Sunderland, 62 per cent.
The figure is only beaten by York, which stands at 91 per cent.
However, the Ofsted 2012/13 annual report for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber areas, shows a different picture at primary school level.
According to figures, 75 per cent of South Tyneside children attend primary schools rated as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
This compares with Newcastle (92 per cent), North Tyneside (87 per cent), Gateshead (85 per cent) and Sunderland (83 per cent).
Council bosses in South Tyneside say that is expected to rise when some of the borough’s schools are re-inspected over the coming months, and that the number is an increase on last year’s 62 per cent.
Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, adults and families at South Tyneside Council, said: “This is great news for the borough and a real tribute to the hard work of schools, pupils and their families in raising standards.
“We have seen rapid improvement at all levels but it’s important to maintain constant vigilance and support for schools to ensure that standards are maintained and that even higher aspirations are well supported.”
She added: “Over the past few years we have invested over £200m, in world-class school buildings and that has helped considerably to bring a powerful new drive and focus to learning in the borough.
“It’s encouraging that our schools are improving at a faster rate than the national average and that their hard work is being recognised nationally.”
Nick Hudson, Ofsted regional director for the North East, said: “The chance of attending a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ secondary school or academy varies dramatically across local authority areas – around nine in every 10 pupils in York and South Tyneside attend a secondary school or academy that is ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, compare with around just two in every 10 in Barnsley.”
During the past year, three secondary schools, 11 primaries, one special school and one nursery in South Tyneside, have all been upgraded to ‘good’ status.
Harton Primary and the Beacon Centre, both in South Shields, have also attended ‘good’ status since the report was compiled and are not yet included in the figures.