Is there a crisis in secondary education in West Leeds?


Is there a crisis in secondary education in West Leeds? asks Melinda Ridge Priestley.

What makes a good school? Is it the judgement from OFSTED? Is it the results? Is it your child being happy at that school?

Many parents and carers in the west of the city will soon be looking at local secondary schools for their Year 5 child.

With the recent reports of four local schools being released in the past six months parents/carers might be forgiven for thinking that the state of education in the area is poor.

You might be forgiven for thinking only an OFSTED graded ‘good or better’ school is suitable for your child. But is there a bigger picture in play?

OFSTED reports

Here is a summary of the OFSTED ratings for the local schools:

Crawshaw Academyjudged to be ‘good’ in November 2015

Farnley Academyjudged to be ‘outstanding’ in 2013

Pudsey Grangefieldjudged to be ‘requires improvement’ in November 2016

Leeds West Academyjudged to be ‘requires improvement’ in February 2017

Pudsey Priesthorpejudged to be ‘requires improvement’ in February 2017

Swallow Hill
judged to be ‘requires improvement’ in November 2016

priesthorpe_school garden opening
Pudsey Priesthorpe School pupils

‘One measure’

So what as a community can be done? It is important to remember that OFSTED is only one measure of how a school is doing.

How are you involved in your local school? Do you support the events they hold? That can be a big help to schools, having links with the local community can help improve a school.

Letting our local children see that the community has pride in the local school will help.

When you are picking a school, take a tour, have a look around and see what it is like and remember that all of these schools have one thing in common-they want your child to do well.

It takes a community to raise a child. 

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.






  1. Seems wishful thinking – most people go by Ofsted reports, which is why getting into Farnley is like getting into Fort Knox at moment. I’m afraid some schools are perennial strugglers – I’d be surprised if Swallow Hill ever manages to turn its fortunes around – it’s always been a rough school I’m afraid.

  2. As long as we have a government intent on narrowing the curriculum, creating a two tier system with grammar schools and driving down conditions and pay for teachers, education in West Leeds and across the county will continue to suffer. The community, teachers and parents need to come together and demand the schools our children need and deserve. The running down of local authority services to schools has had a terrible impact on the specialist help that students with extra needs require to overcome barriers to accessing education. Getting involved with a local school does little to address the systemic failures in the current system.


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