Councillor Husain Akhtar concerned about future of schools in Harrow

A councillor has raised concerns about the borough's schools following the release of official figures.

Councillor Husain Akhtar fears parents and children in the borough are being let down, as figures released by Ofsted show standards for the borough’s schools may be at a standstill.

Harrow was also recently outside the top ten for the number of secondary pupils in outstanding or good schools in the borough.

The independent councillor said: “All this presents a very alarming picture in a borough that is expected to do well in the education top tables – even Tower Hamlets and Hackney, once low-achieving education authorities, are doing better than Harrow.

“I’m very concerned about the capacity to improve as well, given the rapid changes in the political leadership of the local education authority.

“There have been four different portfolio holders for the children’s services and three different cabinets within a short period.

“I am very proud of our schools in Harrow but I fear that due to the political changes in the council, focus on school standards has slipped.

“As a borough we are doing OK compared to the national average but we are not progressing like other authorities.”

In figures released by Ofsted last week, 90 per cent of secondary schools in the borough were rated good or outstanding, as of August 31, 2013.

This is a drop compared to the year before, when all schools were rated good or outstanding for overall effectiveness.

A Harrow Council spokeswoman said the latest Ofsted figures show that nine out of 10 children in Harrow - 91 per cent of primary pupils and 94 per cent of secondary pupils - go to ‘good or better’ schools.

She also cited figures showing his year’s Year Six SATS tests were above the national averages, with 79 per cent of children achieving the benchmark Level 4 or higher in reading, writing and maths combined.

The spokeswoman added: "This shows that there is a range of fantastic schools in the borough for families to choose from. The council works with all schools and supports them to offer the highest standards of education.

"Only one local secondary school and four primary schools are not currently graded as ‘good’ but all are on a fast track for improvement and we are confident that they are already doing so.”


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