THE proportion of pupils across Barnsley who are attending primary schools judged by Ofsted to be good or outstanding dropped in the first quarter of the financial year, according to a council report this week.

A total of 69.9 per cent of Barnsley youngsters now attend a school deemed to be in the education watchdog’s top two tiers, down from 70.4 per cent because of Birdwell Primary moving from outstanding to ‘requires improvement’ earlier this year.

The latest report, presented to the council’s ruling cabinet on Wednesday, cited many schools entering the academisation process as a contibuting factor in why some inspections - and progress - had been delayed.

“This has been on a downward trend for some time,” the report said. “As a result of more schools converting to academy status, and therefore not being due another inspection, it is no longer possible to have a significant impact on this indicator.”