FOUR Thurrock primary schools have been told they “require improvement” following a blitz by Ofsted.

The education watchdog hit the borough last month after Thurrock was again found to be in the bottom three nationally for the number of primary pupils attending good or outstanding schools.

East Tilbury Junior, Stifford Clays Primary, Holy Cross Catholic and Somers Heath, in South Ockendon, have all been graded as “require improvement”.

Somers Heath has been downgraded from “good”, while the three other schools were graded the same as their previous inspection.

In February, Ofsted said it was determined to “diagnose the problems with education in Thurrock”.

Up to 12 schools have been inspected as part of the blitz, which Ofsted said was about seeing how the council was supporting the schools.

Six inspections had been published by the time the Gazette went to print.

In contrast, Arthur Bugler Junior School, in Stanford-le- Hope, has been upgraded to “good”, the rating the Gateway Primary Free School in Tilbury received.

Andrew Walker, Arthur Bugler’s chair of governors, was delighted. He said: “The inspectors’ findings were a testament to the way that the school is working together in pursuit of the highest standards possible.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Peltier, head at Stifford Clays, questioned the amount of time inspectors spent in the schools.

Mr Peltier, himself a qualified Ofsted inspector, said: “How can you get sufficient evidence to provide an accurate judgement of a school in just oneand- a-half days?

“Our report doesn’t reflect a school that requires improvement.

I know how much effort my staff, children and parents put in to make this a good school.”

Ofsted is due to publish its full findings following last month’s blitz by the summer.

*Results of an inspection at secondary school The Ockendon Academy were also published. The report found the school to be “good”.