More than half of Tameside’s secondary schools are inadequate or require improvement, according to Ofsted’s annual report.
This comes alongside the announcement that there are 170,000 pupils in inadequate secondary schools, and increase of about 70,000 from two years ago.
Councillor Ged Cooney, Lead Member for Learning and Skills at Tameside Council, blamed the result on the lack of control afforded to the council.
“It’s a matter of what schools are Tameside’s responsibility, and what are not. We’ve got 15 secondary schools in Tameside: seven of them are academies,” he said.
“We have no jurisdiction over them whatsoever.”
Only 37% of Tameside’s academy students attend a good or outstanding school, and the councillor cited a lack of support from the Department for Education as the reason.
“That’s not acceptable to us, and I don’t think it’s acceptable to the parents, children or teachers of Tameside,” the Councillor said.
“All political parties and all politicians, it doesn’t matter who you are, have to ascertain that children are receiving a good standard of education.”
Tameside Council have already brought in a Director of Education alongside their Director of Children’s Services, in order to bring the focus directly on to education.
While state schools will fall under the control of the local authority, academies are managed separately by the Department for Education.
Cllr Cooney claims their academies’ failings come from the vast areas that school inspectors have to cover.
“How do you manage a school in Tameside from London?” he said.
“We can deal with a school in Tameside because we are here, and I don’t think that anyone in London has got the same interest.
“What we’re saying to the government is give us the authority to work with these schools and intervene. If we fail, we’ll accept it, but don’t blame us for seven schools we’ve got no control over.”