MORE than 82 per cent of a town's schools have been rated 'good' or 'outstanding,' according to new Government data.

The latest report on school inspections across the country has revealed that 18 per cent of state schools in Blackburn with Darwen are classed as ‘outstanding’ places of learning by OFSTED, the Government’s education watchdog.

A further 64 per cent of the area’s primary and secondary schools were rated 'good,' while 16 per cent ‘require improvement’ and one per cent - just one school out of 76 - was deemed inadequate.

These figures have improved since August 2018, when 3 schools were deemed inadequate and 20 required improvement.

Schools within Lancashire County Council’s jurisdiction fared even better, with the 23 per cent of the authority’s schools rated outstanding and only seven percent requiring improvement and two per cent deemed inadequate.

Speaking about the figures, Blackburn with Darwen’s lead for children’s services and education, councillor Maureen Bateson, said overall, the figures were positive.

She said: “As an authority we do a lot of work in partnership with schools and we aim to get every one rated as good.

“We are proud of the work we do and we believe every child is entitled to a good education. We actively work with those schools that are not up to standard to try and ensure they are providing the best education they can.

“We are a deprived authority - there is no getting away from that, but some of our schools are providing amazing results in very challenging times and I am very proud of all of those involved in making sure that is the case.”

Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School , a state-funded academy, this year became the first Muslin-faith school to win a Sunday Times School of the Year Award - it too is rated outstanding by OFSTED.

Nationally, eighty-six per cent of all schools were rated good or outstanding with an OFSTED spokesman saying the results were ‘fairly stable’.

They said: “This proportion has remained fairly stable over the last 3 years but prior to that had climbed steadily from 68% in August 2010.

“Only 16% of previously outstanding primary and secondary schools remained outstanding at inspection in 2018/19.”

These latest figures were released the day before Conservative leaders pledged to give OFSTED the power to inspect schools without warning in a bid to ‘beef up’ the education watchdog.