School criticised by Letwin earns glowing report

The comprehensive school criticised by Oliver Letwin, who said he would rather become a beggar than allow his children to go there, is to receive a glowing report from England's education watchdog.

Ofsted inspectors who visited Lilian Baylis School in Lambeth, south London, earlier this month concluded that it was a "good school" where 98 per cent of lessons were satisfactory or better. Mr Letwin, the shadow Chancellor, told a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference that he would "go out on the streets and beg" rather than send his children to the comprehensive near his London home.

Mr Letwin, an Old Etonian who was shadow Home Secretary at the time, has twins aged 10 and lives in Kennington in Lambeth during the week, returning to his West Dorset constituency at weekends. He was forced to apologise to the school after telling the meeting that middle-class parents were prepared to pay to educate their children privately to avoid such comprehensives.

Ofsted refused to comment on the report's contents, confirming only that it would be published in January. But it is understood that when inspectors met governors and senior staff, they said 64 per cent of lessons they had seen were good or better and only 2 per cent less than satisfactory.

Mr Letwin said yesterday that he would be delighted if the school received a positive report. "If this is true, I'm absolutely delighted to hear of this massive improvement. I'm hoping in due course to visit the school and I congratulate them on their achievement."

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