Comment - Schools riddle must be solved

Secondary school in St Helens are struggling to perform, unlike our town's primaries
Secondary school in St Helens are struggling to perform, unlike our town's primaries

It is, to say the least, alarming that yet another secondary school in St Helens has been condemned by education watchdogs.

St Augustine of Canterbury School was branded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted after a recent inspection which highlighted serious weaknesses in virtually every aspect of the school.

Sadly, St Augustine isn’t an isolated case as only last month Ofsted said St Helens’ secondaries were among the weakest in the country.

That is shocking and puzzling in equal measure because our primaries are among the UK’s best. What is happening in the post-11 sector to produce such a radical reversal?

A taskforce set up last year to probe this very matter needs to look at the broader questions of why our secondaries are in their current, parlous state.

They should be given a wide-ranging remit to inspect every aspect of our town’s education system, ask difficult questions, and then publish their unvarnished findings.