Sir Michael Wilshaw said a spotlight was needed on Local Authorities that are failing poor children. Many of these now were in leafy suburbs, market towns and seaside resorts rather than big cities. Such pupils were often an 'invisible minority' in schools rated good or outstanding. They coasted through education until, at the earliest opportunity, they severed their ties with it. 36% of pupils with free school meals obtained five good GCSEs including maths and English. Among all pupils 59% achieved this. He wants a new team of 'National Service' teachers sent in to help. Sir Michael has praised big improvements in London schools and says other big cities have also made great strides.
Lest the reference to rural areas be mistaken NASS ensures it is clear to other observers that the Chief Inspector referred to market towns- often the schools children transfer to when their village schools are closed! Evidence worldwide has consistently shown that children from impoverished and disadvantaged families actually make progress in small schools.