Ofsted annual report for 2012 First two paragraphs.
Schools in England have improved considerably over the last decade, with some areas such as Inner London witnessing a dramatic improvement as a result of London Challenge. Seventy per cent of all schools are now good or better compared with 64% five years ago. The overall picture is one of largely effective schools with committed and competent leadership. Although too much teaching remains uninspiring, the quality of teaching is nevertheless improving. Schools are mainly calm, well-managed places, providing a good environment in which poor behaviour is much less of an issue.
Standards are rising steadily. There is a much stronger focus on the attainment and progress of children and young people. Assessment of pupils’ progress is highly refined in many schools, informing planning and prompting intervention if pupils’ progress falters. But our school performance needs to be higher if we are both to meet the potential of all young people and to keep pace, as a nation, with our competitors in the global society.
State Schools Since the 1950s: The Good News by Adrian Elliott Trentham Books Ltd (2007)
This carefully researched and evidence-based book makes a convincing case that primary and secondary schools in England and Wales, have improved greatly over the past half century.
Adrian Elliott's findings challenge the public perceptions and pessimistic views so often proclaimed by the media. His exploration of the 'golden age' of selection and public examinations strongly challenges the persistent view that a return to selection would benefit the poorest children.
Elliott examines whether schools are out of control, and whether out-of-school activities such as team games and orchestras are really disappearing and finds that neither is true. All this, plus international comparisons of school achievement, gives the lie to the myth of declining standards in schools.
This book clearly tells the reader that what is happening in schools today bears no relation to the media scaremongering about schools.