This is how Kent and Medway's schools were rated by Ofsted inspectors
Kent primary and secondary schools continue to perform well despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Ofsteds annual report for 2020/21 has revealed.
Published today, it examines the performance of schools, early years, children's social care and further education across a range of measures including inspections and exams.
It also shows differences within the 19 areas in the south east and compares them with the picture nationally.
Fewer inspections were carried out by the education watchdog this year due to the pandemic.
Absences related to Covid-19 were also reflected in the statistics with many pupils forced to isolate and study at home after positive tests within a class or bubble.
Despite these challenges primary and secondary schools continued to maintain high standards in both Kent and Medway.
In Kent, 93% of its 451 primary schools inspected were rated good or outstanding as of August 31.
This was above the national average of 88% and Medway where it was 89%.
When it came to the performance of secondary schools, 87% were ranked good or outstanding in Kent, in line with the average for the region but remaining above the national average at 77%.
Meanwhile, in Medway 94% of schools inspected were judged to be either good or outstanding.
When it came to discipline, Kent had the highest number of pupils in the south east with one or more suspensions in secondary school – 3,519 – but at 3.3% this was broadly on par with the regional average of 3.2% and below the national average of 3.7%.
In Medway, 658 pupils, or 3.3%, were excluded over the year.
Suspension refers to a pupil who is excluded from a school for a set period of time. A suspension can involve a part of the school day and it does not have to be for a continuous period.
A pupil may be excluded for one or more fixed periods up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year.
Progress in educational provision regarding pupils with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) was also acknowledged by the report.
With limited social contact and access to support services, many children with SEND have been hit hard by lockdowns.
In its latest set of findings, the Ofsted said some progress had been made in Medway since its last inspection in February last year but a revisit had not yet taken place to review provision in Kent – the last inspection report having been published in March 2019.
Commenting on the annual report, Stephen Long, Ofsted south east director said: “Today’s report highlights how the pandemic has affected nearly all children and young people.
“Children in the South East and across the country have missed out on so much over these past 20 months.
"They have had their childhood and education put on hold to protect the older generation.
"Children only get one chance at school, so it’s really important that we redress the balance and make every effort to ensure they regain as much normality as possible and remain at school.
“Our return to inspections this term will help parents, government and the wider public understand how schools are managing the current situation and helping children catch up.”