Half of secondary schools in Swindon are falling behind the required standard, the education watchdog says.

Of the 12 schools inspected in the area, Ofsted rates two as inadequate, its lowest mark, while four require improvement, as of 30 September.

Its latest figures list none as outstanding and six as good.

In Swindon, there are 86 schools registered with Ofsted including primaries, six of which are rated inadequate while 14 require improvement – meaning 25 per cent overall are below standard.

This is above the 17 per cent average for the south west.

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said: “Myself and Robert Buckland continue to work and support our fantastic local schools and the dedicated staff.

“Swindon has had its challenges, in part because of Labour’s unfair funding formula, but thankfully recent announcements to significantly level up funding and the addition of a number of brand new schools including the Great Western Academy and The Deanery shows our children will have the best chance of fulfilling their potential.”

Ofsted visits all new schools, including academies, within three years of opening.

Inspectors judge them on categories including the quality of teaching, personal development and welfare, the effectiveness of the leadership and pupils’ achievement.

Schools requiring improvement will be inspected again within 30 months, while those rated inadequate now face mandatory conversion into academies, funded directly by central government.

Across England, 20 per cent of all schools were classed as outstanding, 66 per cent good, 10 per cent requires improvement and 4 per cent inadequate.

But with more than 1,000 “outstanding” state schools going without an inspection in a decade, the National Education Union warned this did not accurately reflect the quality of education on offer.

Dr Mary Bousted, the union’s joint general secretary, said: “The fact that some schools haven’t been inspected for over 10 years demonstrates that the information Ofsted provides is misleading at best and may be wrong. This is yet another reason that Ofsted is past its sell-by date.”

A DfE spokeswoman added: "Teachers and school leaders are helping to drive up standards, with 85 per cent of children now in good or outstanding schools compared to 66 per cent in 2010."