Learning mentors’ success

Learning mentors are helping to raise standards and promote
educational inclusion, according to Ofsted’s annual report.

In the report, Ofsted chief inspector David Bell said that learning
mentors were succeeding in giving disaffected pupils greater
confidence and were promoting more positive attitudes towards

Together with other initiatives in schools covered by the Education
Action Zone and Excellence in Cities schemes, Bell said learning
mentors who worked with individual pupils had helped improve pupils
behaviour, but the effect on their achievement was “limited and

The report states that too many schools lack adequate systems for
tracking the progress of individual pupils, especially pupils with
special educational needs. And although fewer secondary schools
were found by Ofsted to have unsatisfactory behaviour overall this
year than last, some pupils’ behaviour remains a serious concern
for many secondary schools.

In special schools for pupils with emotional, behavioural and
social difficulties, leadership and management were not as good as
in other special schools. These schools often have difficulties
recruiting and retaining staff, including senior managers.

But in three-quarters of all special schools pupils’ achievement
was good or better, and the quality of teaching was good or better
in four out of five special schools.

The welfare of pupils was judged unsatisfactory in a quarter of the
independent boarding schools inspected.

On early years care and education, Ofsted reports a 4 per cent
increase in registered child care providers in the six months to
last September. Some 3,500 complaints about registered providers
were investigated during the year.

The quality of funded nursery education in private or voluntary
sector settings was generally good, though in one in eight
nurseries, provision was either unacceptable or required major

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