Disadvantaged children are being failed by the education system, according to the chief inspector of schools.
In a speech later today, Sir Michael Wilshaw will warn that there is an “invisible minority” of disadvantaged children living in “leafy suburbs, market towns or seaside resorts” who are being let down by their schools.
He believes an army of top teachers employed by the government is necessary, used to target schools that are failing.
“The quality of education is the most important issue facing Britain today,” he will say.
“In the long term, our success as a nation – our prosperity, our security, our society – depends on how well we raise and educate our young people across the social spectrum.”
In the last 20 to 30 years, standards in schools in major cities such as London, Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Liverpool and Leicester have been transformed, and problems of under-achievement have shifted to deprived coastal towns and rural areas of the country, especially in the East and South East of England, Sir Michael will argue.
There are also a significant number of poorer children in reasonably rich areas such as Kettering, Wokingham, Norwich and Newbury, who are being failed by their schools.
“Today, many of the disadvantaged children performing least well in school can be found in leafy suburbs, market towns or seaside resorts,” he is expected to say.
“Often they are spread thinly, as an ‘invisible minority’ across areas that are relatively affluent.
“These poor, unseen children can be found in mediocre schools the length and breadth of our country. They are labelled, buried in lower sets, consigned as often as not to indifferent teaching. They coast through education until – at the earliest opportunity – they sever their ties with it.”
He will urge the consideration of a “National Teaching Service”, with teachers employed directly by the government who can be sent to struggling schools.
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Article source: http://news.sky.com/story/1105936