Leader Kent lambasts school critics: “Stop knocking our kids”

THURROCK COUNCIL leader, John Kent issued a stark warning to those who dare criticise the performance of Thurrock schools.

Cllr Kent issued the warning at a meeting of the council cabinet on Wednesday night.

Cllr Kent was responding to the annual report of Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw which “had no surprises for Thurrock Council”, said cllr Kent.

Cllr Kent said “If anything, it shows our secondary schools are doing even better than we expected in comparison with others”.

He added: “The report also confirms that our primary schools in Thurrock are improving markedly, ten per cent better than last year.”

Perhaps irked by the fact that another take on the report was that Thurrock primary schools remain third from bottom in the country.

Cllr Kent said: “Stop knocking our kids…..He added: “The Education Commission called on us to celebrate success and I think this is the perfect opportunity.

The Eastern Region part of the report states there are “four local authorities making it into the top half of the country, although only one local authority, Thurrock, made it into the top 20 per cent”.

Cllr Kent said: “Our secondary schools are not only among the top fifth nationwide, we can boast the top performing secondary schools in the Eastern Region and in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership area, taking in all of Kent and East Sussex too.

“This is worthy of celebration and something we should be celebrating. I’ve been meeting many of our secondary heads and visiting their schools over recent months and this success is something they’ve all worked very hard for.”

On primaries, the national report states: “On the whole, primary school performance has risen. Many of the local authorities with underperforming primary schools have made significant progress,” adding: “Thurrock, which remains near the foot of the table, has seen a substantial improvement.”

And the Eastern Region report adds: “Thurrock is heading in the right direction and, from a low base, has demonstrated well above average improvement with its primary schools in the year.”

Cllr Kent said: “Yes we remain low in the league table and that’s disappointing, but the chief inspector acknowledges we are improving quickly; we are on the right road and heading in the right direction.

“We might like to be able to wave the magic wand and turn things around, but we need to ensure the proper foundations are in place so that when our primaries are up there with our secondaries, they will all stay there

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