How Birmingham's worst schools tend to serve the poorest areas revealed

How Birmingham’s worst schools tend to serve the poorest areas revealed

Three-quarters of state schools in the richest parts of Birmingham are rated “outstanding” by Ofsted – compared to just 15% of schools in the poorest areas.

New analysis of data published by the education watchdog has revealed an alarming ratings gap between schools in the most and least deprived places.

It shows that of the 51 schools in the richest parts of the city, NONE are rated inadequate and only two are rated as “requiring improvement”.

Some 27 are rated outstanding.

Of the 252 schools in the poorest parts of Birmingham, 16 are inadequate and 47 require improvement.

Only 39 are rated outstanding.


Education campaigners said it was “unacceptable” that the quality of education and outcomes for young people were “still determined by how much their parents earn”.

The new analysis is based on Ofsted ratings achieved by every primary and secondary in England at their most recent inspection.

Schools can be given one of four ratings for “overall effectiveness” – outstanding, good, requires improvement, and inadequate.

These ratings have been crossed-referenced with deprivation data for the neighbourhoods in which each school is located.

Every neighbourhood in England is given a score on something called the “income deprivation affecting children index” (IDACI). That is based on the proportion of children aged 0 to 15 who live in “income-deprived” families – those whose income is significantly below the national average.

The poorest 20 per cent of neighbourhoods, nationally, are said to be in the “bottom quintile”.

The richest 20 per cent of neighbourhoods, nationally, are said to be in the “top quintile”.

Primary school

Birmingham has a total of 252 schools which are located in the bottom quintile.

Of those, 39 (15.5 per cent) are rated outstanding, 150 (59.5 per cent) are rated good, 47 (18.7 per cent) are rated as requiring improvement and 16 (6.3 per cent) are rated as inadequate.

Since Birmingham has a lot of relatively poor places within its boundaries, it has a smaller number of schools in the top two quintiles – 25 in all.

Their Ofsted performance, though, is markedly better.

 

Eighteen of those schools are outstanding while six are good. Only one requires improvement and none are inadequate.

Across England as a whole, the analysis shows, a third of schools deemed inadequate by Ofsted are in the poorest areas.

And while the richest neighbourhoods have 1,235 outstanding schools, the poorest have 525 – or less than half as many.

“It is unacceptable”

Sam Butters, chief executive of the Fair Education Alliance, said: “It is unacceptable that in the UK in 2019 it is still the case that quality of education and outcomes for young people are still determined by how much their parents earn.

“This inequality in education has a knock-on effect that impacts everything from wellbeing to career opportunities, putting these children at a disadvantage for their whole lives.

“If we are serious about creating a fairer, stronger country, then this has to change.

A key reason for these statistics is that in our current system there is barely any incentive for teachers and leaders to work in schools serving the poorest areas; it is a harder job, with less prestige, less support, more accountability, more risk and fewer career prospects.

“This creates a cycle of decline which needs to change.”

 

The analysis reflects Ofsted ratings at the end of 2018.

A small number of schools have been excluded from the analysis as deprivation data is not available for their local neighbourhoods.

0