Staffordshire has the highest number of failing schools in the West Midlands, according to the latest figures released by Ofsted.
The county had eight schools - five primary, two secondary and one pupil referral unit - judged to be among the worst in the country, according to the school's watchdog.
A regional breakdown of failing schools came as Ofsted highlighted a five per cent rise to 256 schools nationally judged not to provide an adequate eduction.
Stoke-on-Trent had the next highest number of failing schools regionally as of the end of this March, with six, followed by Birmingham and Warwickshire on four each.
Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Worcestershire had three each and Wolverhampton two.
Staffordshire County Council last night defended its record on schools, claiming the figures were "misleading".
"We believe we have an excellent record of helping schools out of special measures and supporting them," said a spokesman for the authority.
"These figures only give a tiny snapshot - to get a full picture you have to look at the cycle of schools going in and out of special measures over two years.
"It is misleading to suggest we have more schools going into special measures than anyone else."
Schools are placed into special measures if they are judged to be failing and also show no capacity to improve.
The status triggers creation of an action plan by the authority to turn it round - or risk Government intervention including possible closure.
The eight Staffordshire schools in that category in March were: Chadsmoor Junior, Cheadle High, Huntington Community Primary, Redhill Primary, Squirrel Hayes Primary, Stafford Teaching Unit, Western Springs Primary and Woodhouse High. Cheadle High has since been removed from special measures.
The authority had another eight schools that have been given "notice to improve" or risk being put into special measures.
Birmingham's head of education Coun Les Lawrence (Con Northfield) last night said the city could be "extremely proud" of the relatively low number of schools falling into the weakest category.
The authority did, however, have the highest number of schools that have been given notice to improve at 12.
Coun Les Lawrence added: "For the less than one per cent of schools that are in special measures, we provide targeted resources and work very closely with the teachers and governing bodies to address any weaknesses and turn those into strengths, as we wish to be in a situation where we have no schools in special measures."
Nationally the number of schools in special measures in England rose five per cent during the three months between December last year to March this year.
The latest figures follow a dramatic rise in the number of failing schools in the autumn term last year.
Inspectors stressed the latest rise was partly because there were fewer schools in a position to be removed from the special measures category.
A spokeswoman for Ofsted said: "The number of schools removed from special measures in the spring term 2007 was lower than in previous terms because very few schools were made subject to special measures in the spring and summer terms 2005.
"It normally takes around two years for schools to improve sufficiently to be removed from special measures."
The number of failing schools in England has halved since 1997, when it was 515.
Schools Minister Jim Knight warned there would be no let up on schools that were "coasting".
"Our reforms to tackle failing schools demand radical action from the school and the local authority to turn the school around quickly," he said.