The number of 'good' and 'outstanding' schools in Dorset is falling, new figures show.

Today, Ofsted launched its annual report, which outlines the performance of early years, schools, further education and skills, and social care providers in England.

The report showed 78 per cent of primary schools in the county were rated good or outstanding at the end of the last school year - six per cent lower than the previous year and putting it as the second worst performer in the south west.

The number of secondary schools with good or outstanding ratings also fell by five per cent with just 70 percent of schools getting the top ratings.

Dorset was the worst performer in the south west for attainment at Key Stage 2 (pupils aged 7 and 11) with 60 per cent of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths - four per cent lower than the national average.

However, at Key stage 4 (pupils aged 14 to 16) pupil attainment was above average with the average Attainment 8 score in Dorset in 2018 was 47.3 compared to 46.5 across England.

This is the second year schools have been ranked using the Attainment 8 grading system after major changes were made to how exams are assessed.

Attainment 8 is an average score across eight subjects including English and maths.

The new system also rates schools on the progress pupils make between Year 6 to when they take their GCSEs (Progress 8).

Dorset was given a Progress 8 score of zero, meaning it is in line with the national average.

Headteacher of the Prince of Wales School in Dorchester, Gary Spracklen said the report should serve as a call to arms to members of the community to support their local schools.

"Obviously reading these figures is going to be worrying for Dorset parents but it highlights the need more than ever for everyone to get involved in their school community.

"Schools are in a funding crisis and Dorset schools have been effected more than others. After years of cuts and austerity, it's going to bite hard. But we can overcome these issues with hard work from the community.

He urged people to approach their local school to find out how they can pitch in.

"The Prince of Wales School doesn't get funded any differently than any other school but the reason we are able to provide what we do is because we have the support of the community and for me that's massive," Mr Spracklen said.

A spokesman for Dorset County Council said improving pupil outcome was a priority for the county.

"This has been reflected in some part in the decline in Ofsted ratings, particularly the disappointing drop in the number of outstanding schools. DCC has robust strategies in place to secure improvement, and many schools are making rapid progress.

"We celebrate the success of many pupils and Schools across Dorset and we are committed to ensuring that standards rise and all are schools are judged as good or outstanding."