South West

Key trends in the region:

  • GCSE outcomes in all but three Local Authorities are above the national level. This year’s provisional results for GCSEs show that an average of 58.81% of pupils in the South West achieved five GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and mathematics compared with 53.8% nationally. The Local Authorities that fall below the national average are South Gloucestershire (52.9%), Plymouth (51.8%) and Swindon (53%).


Shape of the region – key stats:

  • The South West region comprises 16 Local Authorities ranging from Cornwall in the south to Gloucestershire in the north.
  • Within those Local Authorities there are over 2,210 state funded mainstream (non-special) schools, of which approximately 747 are academies and 1279 are faith schools.
  • There are 119 Multi-Academy Trusts, 77 of which are operating as sponsors approved academy sponsors.
  • 83% of all schools are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted
  • There are 375,314,000 primary pupils, 24% of which are in academies and 289, 432,000 secondary pupils, 73% of which are in academies.


Our vision for the region:

  • From Swindon to Cornwall, from Gloucestershire to Bournemouth our region covers some of the most beautiful areas in the country. Our responsibility as educators is to ensure that our school system is as attractive as the location. When all of our schools are securely good and outstanding, we will attract more great leaders and teachers to work here. We will produce talented young people who, having been taught in schools in our region, move on to a wide range of skilled careers and help to build cohesive communities. To do this our region must utilise our strong, collaborative ethos to deliver more consistent outcomes for young people through the establishment of multi-academy trusts (MATs); committed teaching school alliances that deliver increased impact year-on-year; and a strong pipeline of new school sponsors.
  • Strong governance is critical to the success of our single and multi-academy trusts. This requires strategic ownership of institutions and rigorous accountability with people prepared to challenge and to ask the right questions. There is a natural synergy with business and a clear opportunity to draw on a wide range of professional experience to strengthen governance arrangements across the region. Working together we can ensure that we deliver the best possible outcomes for pupils in the South West.


Lisa Mannall, Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West and National Schools Commissioner from February 2016