ONLY one in nine children across Barnsley attended top-rated state schools last year - almost half the national average.

The figures come as the Association of School and College Leaders criticised the Ofsted system, warning schools deemed to be failing are destined to lose out on much-needed funds.

Department for Education data shows 11.1 per cent of the 32,527 children in Barnsley attended schools rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2021/22.

There were 210 pupils - the equivalent of 0.65 per cent - in Barnsley attending schools rated ‘inadequate’, Ofsted’s lowest score.

When a school is judged to be inadequate it is placed in a ‘category of concern’, and will be required to become a sponsored academy, with another local school trust.

A further 66.76 per cent of children attended good schools, while 21.49 per cent were at schools deemed to require improvement.

Ofsted inspectors visit every primary and secondary school about every four years for an inspection, and will give it one of four possible ratings - outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

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Across England, 18 per cent of pupils attended outstanding schools in the 2021/22 academic year, the most recent year data is available for.

Meanwhile, 69 per cent were at good schools, ten per cent at ones that require improvement, and two per cent at inadequate schools.

Just one per cent of children attended schools that had not yet been rated by Ofsted.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the current Ofsted system led to the ‘ridiculous’ situation where property prices are affected by a school’s result, making it harder for poorer families to live near the best schools.

Mr Barton said: “We all want great schools for our children.

“The question is how we achieve that objective and the problem with the current system is that Ofsted ratings are simply counter-productive.

“Once you are deemed ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ it’s the devil’s own job to escape that category because it’s harder to recruit staff and your pupil roll - and hence funding - falls.

“The system has to change so that inspection outcomes are more nuanced, supportive and genuinely aid improvement where it is needed.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said the government has invested £14bn to help local authorities create 1.2m new school places since 2010.

They said: “Parents rightly want to know how their child’s school is doing and I fully support our approach to providing a clear one-word rating to inform their decisions.

“Ofsted has been central to our success in driving up school standards, with 88 per cent of our schools now rated good or outstanding - up from 68 per cent when this government came into office.”