Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: Education chief is committed to improvement after Suffolk drops down league tables

11:37 25 January 2013

Graham Newman, cabinet member for education at Suffolk County Council.

Graham Newman, cabinet member for education at Suffolk County Council.

Archant

SUFFOLK’s head of education says that there is no one more committed to raising standards than he is, after being criticised by union chiefs.

shares

Graham Newman said that he was confident that once the School Organisation Review (SOR) is complete and the Raising the Bar enquiry has run its course then attainment across the county will improve.

Last night Graham White, secretary of the Suffolk branch of the National Union of Teachers, said he had concerns about leadership at the county council and claimed the authority had been “sitting on its hands” and using SOR as a convenient excuse to cover the malaise surrounding recent results, which place the authority as one of the worst-performing in the country.

But Mr Newman said children’s education was his top priority and that schools in parts of the county already affected by SOR were among those showing real signs of progress, while the changes in marking for some GCSE papers had taken its toll on results.

He said: “This is not a product of SOR - the pupils going through the system at GCSEs have not been subjected to any disruption to their teaching at any time. It is not as if they have been in schools that have been disturbed by SOR.

“Our priorities are getting schools to work with our seven point plan, which was devised primarily for key stage two but the principles are in there.

“We continue to work with the headteachers - 75% of the secondary schools are now academies. Some are sponsored academies with their own improvement schemes.

“For the convertors, although what’s happened there is different, 80% are buying back into our services. They have a complete free hand and they are coming back to us for improvement services.”

He said that amidst the disappointing overall performance, there were some examples of “remarkable good news” in the results - particularly with A-levels.

He said: “We have got some teachers who have improved their A-levels but have suffered the worst with GCSEs.”

He added: “We just have to keep pinching ourselves and keep reminding ourselves that the young people we are doing this for are the ones going through this.

“We need to stop thinking about ourselves and put the children first.”

Mr Newman said another priority was to encourage parents of pupils eligible for free school meals to claim them - figures show that 30% of those entitled to free meals are not taking them. This affects pupil premiums and means that schools are losing about £5million in funding each year.

shares

0 comments

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Many services travelling between Ipswich, north Essex and London are facing disruption this morning as emergency repair work on a bridge at Hatfield Peverel continues.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Train passengers yesterday faced rail chaos caused by urgent repairs to a railway bridge between Witham and Hatfield Peveral.

One lane closed on A12 northbound at Martlesham Heath.

One lane is closed at the Eagle Way roundabout after a fuel spill.

Firefighters rescued a woman stuck in mud in Glemsford

A woman who was trapped in mud and lost in Glemsford was found after a frantic search involving fire, police and ambulance crews.

The view from Stoke Bridge. Photo: Simon Parker

Fire crews helped to rescue someone stuck in the River Orwell in central Ipswich last night.

Missing man Mark Twyman

Police have found a man who went missing from a mental health hospital on Friday evening.

An accident has caused travel delays

A 79-year-old man has died following a collision involving a trailer that had separated from a tractor as it travelled along an Essex road.

The Woolpack in Ipswich

Seven teenagers were arrested after a street fight spilled into a busy pub located near to Ipswich Music Day.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Princess Charlotte was christened in front of the Queen and close family and friends today as the Cambridges had their first public outing as a family of four.

Firefighters attended the scene in Clacton

A 16-year-old had to be cut out of a car after a crash in Clacton.

Most read

Topic pages