Education of poorest pupils is slammed

SCHOOLS in Hastings and St Leonards are among the bottom of the class when it comes to educating the poorest and most disadvantaged pupils according to a damning new report.

The chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Walshaw, says that children living in areas that traditionally might be considered more affluent than inner city London are performing poorly.

According to the report entitled ‘Unseen Children’, coastal towns such as Hastings now perform worse than inner city areas.

This comes just weeks after Ofsted inspectors praised The Hastings Academy and The St Leonards Academy which have been rated ‘good’ within two years of opening.

Sir Michael gave a speech at Church House in Westminster yesterday which highlighted the difference in performance between children on free school meals (FSMs) in the inner city and those in coastal towns mentioning Hastings.

He explained how the focus of underachievement had shifted from the urban areas 30 years ago to isolated and coastal towns like Hastings and Blackpool.

The first report of its kind for 10 years, Sir Michael points out that poor white British pupils have become the lowest performing ethnic group.

The gap between their achievements and other pupils has grown.

He said: “Many children from poor families live in urban areas of social and economic disadvantage and go to schools serving concentrations of such pupils.

“The next map (pointing to a map of the UK) also shows schools which are serving disadvantaged communities, but which are doing particularly badly for their FSM pupils.