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Suffolk: School heads given call to arms in blast from county

PUBLISHED: 10:20 19 December 2012

Deborah Cadman.

Deborah Cadman.

Archant

SUFFOLK has today launched a seven-point action plan in a bid to improve the SATS results for 11-year-olds which are among the worst in the country.

And in a hard-hitting letter to heads across the county, chief executive Deborah Cadman insists that the battle to improve teaching in Suffolk is now council’s top priority.

In the latest Key Stage Two (11-plus) league tables, Suffolk as an authority came third from bottom in the country for attainment and fourth from bottom for progress.

The shocking results came despite an acknowledgement that results in the county needed to improve – and the launch of the Raising the Bar programme.

The letter has gone to every headteacher in Suffolk – at High Schools, academies and free schools as well as primary and middle schools – to outline a seven-point plan aimed at improving performance.

The letter is signed by Ms Cadman and interim director of children and young people’s services Allan Cadzow.

It concludes with a blunt message: “The county council’s Raising the Bar programme has ensured improving attainment is now the county council’s number one priority.

“Raising attainment is seen as everybody’s business. It will take the efforts of the whole community of Suffolk to improve the current position.

“You are no doubt aware, both SCC’s leader, and the cabinet member for education and young people are very concerned about the weaknesses this year’s Key Stage 2 results have exposed, and are fully supportive of all the action we are now seeking to put into place.”

The letter emphasises that is not the “worst performing” schools that need to step up – support from the county has meant that those schools towards the bottom of the table or, “below floor,” have improved more quickly than others.

The county’s concern is that the majority of schools in Suffolk were below the national average for progress – and that improvements here were slower than in other parts of the country.

The county wants to work with the government to look at preparing those schools at the bottom of the table for a new life as an academy.

There are five points that the county emphasises as ways of improving results:

For the full text of the letter being sent to heads and chairs of governors click the link at the top of this page.

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