A COUNCILLOR has claimed Ofsted inspections in Blackburn are unfair and do not reflect results.

Coun Dave Harling came under fire from opposition members who asked why three Blackburn high schools had failed inspections.

It comes as Pleckgate High School, Darwen Vale and Our Lady and St John face being forced to become academies.

Coun Denise Gee blasted the Labour council for letting down local children and parents.

Speaking at a council meeting she said: “In view of a third secondary school failing an inspection will the Labour group admit that its failure to invest in school programmes and the officers required they have let down the schools, parents but most importantly the pupils at such a crucial time in their lives.”

Coun Mike Lee, leader of the Tory opposition, added: “Whilst the education portfolio has a £190,000 underspend, pupil premium is all- time high and set to rise.

“We have empty positions for school improvement officers and there were clear warning signs re schools not making the mark. I have to ask why in the interest of the children we did not act.

“Although the children’s results are clearly climbing, in areas of core subjects the results are not good enough to give the young people a fighting chance in the job market. They deserve better.”

However Coun Harling said he felt the failed Ofsted inspections were confusing when children’s results in the borough were up 17 per cent.

He said: “I think anyone would agree that Ofsted inspections can be very erratic and seem to vary on what they consider to be important.”

After the meeting he said to the Lancashire Telegraph: “Some of the inspections we’ve seen in the borough have been very harsh judgements. They vary so much and are quite unfair. Of course we want to prevent academisation because it weakens us as an educational authority and we get less funding and less resources when schools are taken away.

“Our schools are improving – results show that but Ofsted have changed the goal posts. If a school is going through a rough patch, we should have the opportunity to support them through it as we have done in the past.”