Schools lose their badges of shame

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The Independent Online
Ministers will today celebrate the recovery of 73 schools which were once labelled as failures. Judith Judd, Education Editor, explains why Stephen Byers, the school standards minister, is holding a Commons reception for the school heads.

Teachers attacked the Government for its decision to "name and shame" failing schools. Today, education ministers aim to prove that they are as anxious to applaud as to criticise by "naming and acclaiming" schools which have been turned round. Ministers want to avoid the mistake of the previous government which failed to win teachers' support for its reforms because of persistent attacks on the profession.

Their announcement comes on the eve of the publication tomorrow of the annual report by Chris Woodhead, the Chief Inspector of Schools, which shows that schools are improving.

Mr Byers said: "Last year, the Government was criticised for naming and shaming 18 failing schools. We said that where we found failure we would be open about it. We also said that we would celebrate success."

Mr Woodhead is expected to point that rising standards are in evidence not only in better test and examination results but also in the classroom observations of his inspectors.

As usual, his report will list more than 100 schools which have won "Oscars of Excellence" from inspectors. For the first time, there will also be a list of schools once judged failing or in need of special measures, but which have been given a clean bill of health.

However, the report will also show that the percentage of schools being failed by inspectors from Mr Woodhead's Office for Standards in Education, remains at around 2 per cent of primary and 2 per cent of secondary schools.

A spokeswoman for the National Union of Teachers said: "It is clear that with appropriate management and support every school can do well." But she rejected the policy of naming and shaming as "kicking schools when they are down. It demoralises teachers and makes it harder for the newly- appointed head to turn the school round."

The class of 73

All Saints Primary, Rochdale; Brookfield Special, Gloucestershire; Brent Primary, Brent; Brancaster Primary, Norfolk; Breeze Hill Secondary, Oldham; Bowling Community College, Bradford; Brookside Special, Derby; Broomwood School, Bradford; Cawston Primary School, Norfolk; Crook Primary School, Durham; Deerlands Special School, Sheffield; Dalton Junior School, Kirklees; Earlsmead Junior School, Haringey; Edna G Olds Primary; Erpingham Primary School, Norfolk; Francis Askew, Hull; Forest Gate Primary, Northamptonshire; Fred Nicholson Special School, Norfolk; Garston Primary School, Liverpool; Geoffrey Chaucer, Southwark; Griffin Manor Special, Greenwich; Hickling Primary, Norfolk; Holyhead Primary, Sandwell; Hockwold Primary, Norfolk; Hunslet Nursery School, Leeds; Kingshurat Junior School, Solihull; Lea County Infant School, Berkshire; Lea Green Special School, Waltham Forest; Lilian Baylis School, Lambeth; Linwood Special School, Dorset; Little Ilford Secondary, Newham; Mayville Infants School, Waltham Forest; Morningside Primary, Hackney; Northmoor Green, Hackney; Norbridge Primary School, Nottingham; Northicote Secondary School, Wolverhampton; Pinewood Primary, Stoke-on-Trent; Rodmell Primary, East Sussex; Rearsby Primary School, Leicestershire; Roundthorn School, Oldham; Stratford GM Secondary, Newham; St John the Divine Primary, Lambeth; South Park Infant, Redbridge; St Ann's GM Primary School, Sheffield' St Joseph's Junior, Brent; St George's Primary, Southwark; St Malachy's Primary, Liverpool; St John's Junior School, Liverpool; St Joseph's Junior, Waltham Forest; St Patrick's Primary, Shropshire; St Mary's Primary, Gloucestershire; St James Primary, Cumbria; Shaw Park Primary, Hull; St George's Primary, Wandsworth; Slated Row Special, Milton Keynes; Stavely Junior, Derbyshire; St Hugh's GM Secondary, Lincolnshire; St Mary's & St Joseph's Primary, Lancashire; St Barnabus & St Paul's Primary School, Lancashire; Sneyd High School, Staffordshire; St Matthias Primary, Hackney; Tamarside Secondary, Devon; The Drive Primary, Gateshead; The Phoenix Secondary, Hammersmith & Fulham; Tyldesley Highfield Special, Wigan; Urchfont Primary School, Wiltshire; Victoria Primary School, Leeds; Welsh House Farm Primary, Birmingham; Wey House Special School, Surrey; Watergate Special School, Lewisham; Worsley Mesnes Primary, Wigan; Westgate Community College, Newcastle.