Suffolk: Council welcomes Ofsted’s “sobering” criticism of school failings
PUBLISHED: 11:08 04 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:08 04 March 2014
Ofsted’s damning report of the council’s failures in supporting Suffolk’s schools “makes sobering reading”, says education chief.
Councillor Lisa Chambers, cabinet member for education, skills and young people, welcomes the report, which accuses the council of being ineffective in its arrangements for support school improvement.
Ofsted had been concerned that pupils in Suffolk’s primary and secondary schools are performing well below national averages. The letter is the result of an inspection of the way the local authority is working to improve education in the county’s schools. It accuses them of damaging the life chances of young people.
Mrs Chambers said: “Ofsted’s report makes sobering reading, and rightly so.
“There are few issues of greater significance than the education our young people receive and if advice needs to be given, it ought to be heard – loud and clear.
“We welcome Ofsted’s report and absolutely agree with the four areas of improvement they have identified. So much so that work to address each of them is already well underway. This report confirms that we are tackling the right issues so that the county council is in the best possible position to support and challenge schools to improve.
“We will now, with this guidance from Ofsted, continue on our journey of improvement. Results are improving in Suffolk, but too slowly. And although 70% of schools in Suffolk are rated good or outstanding, this isn’t enough. We must all work to drive up standards.
“Key to solving a problem is recognising there is one in the first place. By launching the Raising the Bar inquiry, seeing SOR through and challenging underperforming schools to improve, the county council has demonstrated this recognition. Schools also know full well the scale of the challenge facing Suffolk. We’re already working, together, to make improvements and will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of a better future for our children.”