Failing schools, and the Local Authorities that allow schools to carry on failing rather than be closed or put under new management, are finding it harder to hide. This week saw the Department of Education make public more data about secondary school performance.

Council will wish to see if any of their secondary schools is "below the floor standard". A school is deemed "below the floor" if "fewer than 35 per cent of pupils achieve the basics standard of five A* to C grade GCSEs inc English and maths" and "fewer pupils make good progress in English between KS2 and KS4
than the national average" and "fewer pupils make good progress in maths between KS2 and KS4 than
the national average."

The 35 per cent floor will increase. In 2012, it will rise to 40 per cent and by 2015 it will rise to 50 per cent.

The 10 local authorities with the highest percentage of schools below the floor are:

Middlesbrough (two schools, 28.6%), Knowsley (two schools, 28.6%), Kingston upon Hull, City of (four schools, 28.6%), Poole (two schools, 25%), Nottingham (three schools, 23.1%), Derby (three schools, 21.4%), Sheffield (five schools, 20.8%), North East Lincolnshire (two schools, 20%), Medway (three schools, 18.8%), Newcastle upon Tyne (two schools, 18.2%)

Most of these councils are Labour but three are run by the Conservatives – Poole, Derby and Medway. What are they doing to sort it out?