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Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Camden succeeds against odds
Chris Woodhead
Chris Woodhead says deprivation is no excuse for low standards
The London Borough of Camden's glowing inspection report proves that authorities can overcome social deprivation, says Chris Woodhead, Chief Inspector of Schools in England.

While inspectors have found serious weaknesses in a series of London education authorities, Camden has been applauded for making improvements and raising standards.

"Camden demonstrates that, even as one of the most deprived boroughs in England, it can support its schools effectively," said Mr Woodhead.

Camden has been applauded for raising standards against the odds
Camden has been applauded for raising standards against the odds
"The authority's achievement sends a clear message to those determined to make excuses for ineffectual performance. It is that if Camden can do well, so can other local education authorities in a similar position."

This "no-excuses" message from the chief inspector follows the privatisation of local education services in other north London boroughs, Islington and Hackney, following highly-critical inspection reports.

The report from the Office for Standards in Education found Camden to be effectively supporting its schools and to be pushing up standards.

In primary schools in the borough, there had been examples of "outstanding progress", said the inspection report.

Mixed message for Wolverhampton

Meanwhile in another inspection report published on Tuesday, Wolverhampton received a mixed message from Ofsted.

Judged to have more strengths than weaknesses, the local authority was applauded for its partnerships with schools, support for literacy and struggling schools. And it was criticised for failings in information technology, school attendance and special needs support.

"Wolverhampton local education authority is providing satisfactory support for its schools. It now needs to address the areas of weakness outlined in Ofsted's report to improve further," said Mr Woodhead.

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16 Mar 00 | Education
Inspectors issue 'urgent warning'
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