Chris Zarraga, Schools North East Director of Operations, said: “Schools North East would welcome a wider debate following this report around school exclusions and disadvantaged children in the North East.
“The report shows some positive results for the region, particularly in Ofsted grades for our primaries, but it is concerning that the two stages of primary and secondary are once again being pitted against each other. Ofsted grades statistically bear a very close relationship to a school’s levels of deprivation. Our region’s secondary results are a reflection of deprivation levels in the North East, rather than the region underperforming against other areas of the country. When differences in school intakes, levels of relative poverty, and the prior attainment of students are factored in, the differences with other regions disappear.
“Ofsted’s report also fails to acknowledge the impact of inadequate levels of funding in schools and local support services, which have a disproportionately greater effect on deprived areas such as the North East.
“Schools North East strongly welcomes the Department for Education’s newest initiative in the region, Opportunity North East, which has the potential to address this issue and ensure that our secondary schools get the support and recognition that they deserve, with equal opportunities to help our children receive an excellent education.”