Suffolk County Council chief: schools need to improve
Suffolk’s most senior council official has called for the county’s schools to improve after key stage two gradings marked it third from bottom nationally.
Deborah Cadman, Suffolk County Council’s chief executive, said results were ‘not good enough’ when she addressed a high level gathering of education professionals in London and called for Suffolk’s schools to improve.
She said the poor ranking had galvanised the council’s resolve for change, and it would be unrelenting in its drive to improve the primary schools.
She did not single out any are a of Suffolk in her critique of the county’s education.
Of Haverhill’s seven primary schools (key stage two) – Clements, St Felix, Westfield, New Cangle, Burton End, Place Farm and Coupals – all were graded ‘Good’ by the education watchdog at each ones last inspection.
Both of Haverhill’s two high schools (key stage three) – Samuel Ward Academy and Castle Manor Academy – have been graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Speaking at the headquarters of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA), Ms Cadman said: “When the Government published the latest key stage two results before Christmas and Suffolk schools came out third from bottom, it reinforced my commitment to making a difference.
“We had some excellent results in schools which have gone through reorganisation, have grasped the nettle in the drive to improve and which have had intense support from the council.
“But we’ve also seen some poor results which are having an effect.
“For me, enough is enough.
“These results are not good enough and I am therefore more convinced than ever that what we are doing to improve education performance, through reorganisation and the Raising the Bar programme, is absolutely the right thing to do.
“The action plan we’ve set out is tough but needed to achieve what we want to achieve for Suffolk’s young people.”
The call was made at the latest key event from the county council’s Raising the Bar initiative.
The summit, which comes at the halfway point in the RSA-led independent inquiry into educational attainment and aspiration, saw nearly 100 experts in the fields of education, business and training come together, including many Suffolk headteachers and governors.
Delegates heard about the inquiry’s progress in investigating the creation of a Suffolk Baccalaureate, a localised educational award designed to prepare young people for the employment market in Suffolk, and proposals for primary schools to work more closely with each other to drive up performance.
Joe Hallgarten, the RSA’s director of education, said: “This summit has come at an important time for the Raising the Bar inquiry.
“We’ve been able to draw together education experts from across the country who are clearly all very willing to engage with this ongoing work.
“I think Suffolk is being very bold, and open, in its approach to tackling under performance.
“No stone is being left unturned in this inquiry.
“There are already some very strong examples of good practice in localised areas of the county, but this is about improvements across Suffolk.
“This is an exciting time and I very much hope to see the first results of this specific work coming through in next year’s exam results, with a real step change three to four years after that.”
Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and young people, said: “The Raising the Bar programme has been rapid and thorough in its approach to this key issue for Suffolk.
“The level of involvement from schools, governors, business and education professionals shows very clearly the level of commitment to improvement.
“Raising attainment and aspiration is everyone’s business, not just the county council’s.
“There is already a huge amount of work going into improving performance in our schools.
“But I’m confident that this programme will act as a major catalyst for future change, and improvement, in Suffolk.”
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (January 24) Echo.
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Weather for Haverhill
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west