MP calls for action over failing Coventry schools

By Matthew Bates Thursday 29 November 2012 Updated: 30/11 12:41

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Geoffrey Robinson has called for government action over failing city schools. (S)

A COVENTRY MP has called on the government to take action against failing schools.

Geoffrey Robinson has written to education secretary Michael Gove after it was revealed just 42 per cent of pupils attended a good or outstanding school in the city.

It left Coventry at the bottom of a national report by Ofsted into standards. Mr Robinson said he was disturbed by chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw's report.

And he told Mr Gove: "I’m sure you can fully understand my huge disappointment and sense of urgency to act on this matter."

The Coventry North West MP called for an urgent meeting with the two fellow city MPs, the department for education, and education chiefs at the council.

He also called on the city council's director of children's services, Colin Green, to resign "given the total failure of his department".

Coun David Kershaw, cabinet member for education, said 'dramatic' improvements would be made over the next six months.

He has drawn up a development plan and will sit down with head teachers at failing schools in a bid to improve the situation.

Coun Kershaw said: "I am deeply disappointed at the position we find ourselves in and am urgently addressing the issue with senior colleagues in the council to explore ways of increasing capacity of the department to address the issues in the immediate future.

"Our plans are to focus - directly in partnership with head teacher colleagues - on schools experiencing some difficulties to ensure dramatic improvements take place over the next six months.

"This will involve both challenge and support.

"Meetings will take place with schools to implement Development Plans as a matter of urgency.

"We are totally committed to ensuring many more of our primary schools are good or outstanding and are confident we can do this by creating an atmosphere of trust, support, partnership and challenge – alongside immediate actions.

"Before becoming Cabinet lead for education I've faced many challenges in my career as a head teacher in Coventry, Bradford and Leicester and I believe – with enormous passion and conviction – that this situation can be reversed very quickly."

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