Education watchdog Ofsted is appointing a new regional director to lead a crackdown on under-performance in West Midlands schools.
A recruitment drive has been launched to find a new director who will lead a team of inspectors to monitor poorly-performing schools across the region.
The announcement followed the publication of the annual Ofsted report, which showed nearly a third of Birmingham schools were deemed “satisfactory” or “inadequate” – the lowest possible rating – in their most recent inspections.
Sixty seven per cent of city primary schools were judged good or outstanding by Ofsted, against a national average of 69 per cent.
And 69 per cent of secondary schools were good or outstanding, above the national average of 66 per cent.
The new director, who is expected to start in January, will have a core objective to “support under-performing schools and colleges and help them improve more quickly”.
Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said the new director would be his “voice in the region”.
“They will challenge and support in equal measure and will not work away from the institutions we inspect until they improve,” he said. “We have found huge variations in the performance of schools across different local authority areas.
“If we aspire, as a nation, to move to a world-leading system, we have to reduce the serious inequalities across the country.
“That’s why I intend, from January, to use Ofsted’s regional structure to inquire further into areas that are performing badly.
“We need to find out what is happening, and inspect them where necessary.
“We will also work with local areas to support them and help them link up with best practice.”
In his first annual report, Sir Michael said England’s children were victims of a “postcode lottery” when it came to getting a decent education.
More than two million children were still being taught in schools that were not good enough, and a youngster’s chance of attending a high-quality school was often too dependent on where they live, he warned.
Elsewhere in the West Midlands, Wolverhampton was ranked in the bottom five nationwide for the worst-rated primary school Ofsted ratings, with only 53 per cent of schools rated good or oustanding.
Secondary schools fared much better, however, with 70 per cent rated good or outstanding.
Camden, in north London, topped the league table with 92 per of pupils attending good or outstanding primary schools.
Nine local authorities scored a 100 per cent good or outstanding rating for secondary schools.
They were Trafford, Torbay, Sutton, Rutland, Kensington and Chelsea, the Isle of Wight, Hounslow, Harrow and Hammersmith and Fulham.
Sir Michael said the report showed there was no link between access to a good primary school and how rich or poor an area was. Some of the poorest areas had high numbers of good and outstanding primaries, while there were richer areas that performed badly.
Despite concerns, the Ofsted report showed there had been improvements in the last few years, with 70 per cent of schools now rated good or outstanding against 64 per cent five years ago.
An extra half a million pupils were now being taught in good or better schools, it said.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the Birmingham-based NASUWT, teachers’ union, said: “Once again, despite the rhetoric of criticism and denigration which surrounds any announcement on the education service, Ofsted’s annual report shows that, year on year, schools are continuing to secure high standards of performance.”