THE number of schools rated good or outstanding in Dorset is falling, new figures show.

Ofsted released its annual report, which outlines the performance of early years, schools, further education and skills, and social care providers in England.

The report showed 78 per cent of primary schools in the county were rated good or outstanding at the end of the last school year – six per cent lower than the previous year and putting it as the second worst performer in the south west.

The number of secondary schools with good or outstanding ratings also fell by five per cent, with just 70 per cent of schools getting the top ratings.

Dorset was the worst performer in the south west for attainment at Key Stage Two (pupils aged seven to 11) with 60 per cent of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths – four per cent lower than the national average.

However, at Key Stage Four (pupils aged 14 to 16) pupil attainment was above average, with the average Attainment 8 score in Dorset in 2018 was 47.3 compared to 46.5 across England.

Attainment 8 is an average score across eight subjects, including English and maths, and this is the second year schools have been ranked using the grading system, after major changes were made to how exams are assessed.

The new system also rates schools on the progress pupils make between Year Six to when they take their GCSEs (Progress 8).

Dorset was given a Progress 8 score of zero, meaning it is in line with the national average.

Kay Taylor, executive principal of the Minerva Learning Trust, made up of Burton Bradstock Primary School, St Mary's Primary School, the Sir John Colfox Academy and Bridport Primary School, said: "We were pleased that the Minerva Learning Trust is performing well in comparison to the overall statistics for the South West. 

"Two of our schools have had Ofsted inspections in the last year and both were judged to be be 'Good'. 

"With regard to results at KS2, attainment or progress was above the national average in reading and writing in all our schools with maths a little less strong - results in maths were well above the Dorset average but still lower than the other subjects.  

"At 4+ grades at GCSE  (the equivalent of the old C grade) the south west saw the biggest improvement in their results in comparison to the other regions and the Sir John Colfox Academy contributed to this with a significant improvement in their attainment and progress last year".  

A spokesperson for Dorset County Council said improving pupil outcome was a priority for the county.

“This has been reflected in some part in the decline of Ofsted ratings, particularly the disappointing drop in the number of outstanding schools. DCC has robust strategies in place to secure improvement, and many schools are making rapid progress.

“We celebrate the success of many pupils and schools across Dorset and we are committed to ensuring that standards rise and all our schools are judges as good or outstanding.”