Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Suffolk: County’s NUT President calls for ‘radical changes’

10:00 27 February 2013

Garry Deeks

Garry Deeks

THE president of Suffolk’s NUT says something has gone “seriously wrong” with education in the county and called for radical changes to be made to trigger improvement.

Garry Deeks retired in 2011 after 26 years as a head in Suffolk, including spells at Mellis, Cockfield and, most recently, for 17 years at Wilby Primary School.

He said that parents, grandparents and teachers “all over Suffolk” were becoming increasingly concerned for the “educational capacity” of Suffolk County Council (SCC) to support the improvements needed. Suffolk is now third from bottom for its SATs and 142nd out of 151 authorities for the most recent GCSE results and SCC is in the process of completing a schools organisation review (SOR) which is resulting in a shift to a county-wide two-tier system.

Mr Deeks said he was so concerned about the situation he was prepared to stand as a candidate at the upcoming council elections.

He said: “From being in the top five per cent in 2001 (Ofsted) to being in the bottom five in 2012, plainly something has gone seriously wrong. The county politicians lost their way, having declared themselves as mean and lean and devolving funds out to schools at levels unseen elsewhere in the country, there was a much reduced capacity to directly intervene positively in schools. Support for school leadership and governors has diminished and schools are quite isolated as a result. Suffolk once talked of operating a ’family of schools’ - the picture now is very different, fragmented and little cohesion. Sadly too this has resulted in fertile ground for market forces in the guise of academies and free schools to be set up. This is creating increasingly uneven provision for Suffolk children.

“Whilst central government has created a challenging environment for schools to operate, SCC has added to the burden with its own policies over SOR, SEN support and divestment.”

Mr Deeks said the council needed to return some of the divested services to “public ownership and scrutiny” and engage properly with teachers, heads, governors and parents.

He added: “It is disappointing for myself as a recently retired headteacher to see SCC become a much reduced authority and overseeing increasing unfairness for Suffolk youngsters and their families. Some radical changes are needed if local needs are going to be met within a democratic structure where abdication of responsibility is not the active policy.”

An SCC spokeswoman said: “Improving educational standards in Suffolk is the county council’s top priority. We have been working very closely with all stakeholders involved in education through our Raising the Bar programme and already have a number of projects in place to raise attainment levels, such as encouraging schools to form federations and the seven point plan for improving attainment.

“Schools in Suffolk work in clusters and partnerships to focus on improving attainment. And the Learning and Improvement Service works regularly with schools and local authorities both regionally and nationally to share best practice.

“The council is committed to completing SOR. There is clear national and local evidence to show that pupils with in a two tier system outperform those in a three tier system.”

0 comments

Search being co-ordinated at Jaywick for a missing kayaker

People are being urged to stay safe if they visit the seaside this summer after the death of a canoeist off the coast at Jaywick on Sunday.

The scene of a crash on the A134 near Sudbury

Two pensioners were airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital after a crash in Sudbury left them in a life-threatening condition this afternoon.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A woman suffered a broken leg after falling from a horse in Santon Downham, near Brandon.

ATOL is there to protect holiday makers should anything go wrong

Did you know that the Civil Aviation Authority has tightened rules over reporting on the returns of ATOL registered travel agents to better protect holidaymakers?

England's Harry Martin in 2014.

The greatest sporting spectacle on the planet is almost upon us once again.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, together with Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers of Commerce, host a business engagement events at UCS, to give businesses in the East the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of devolution. 
Panel of speakers Chris Starkie Chris Bally Dr Peter Funnell Andy Wood OBE Mark Pendlington answer relevant questions

Business leaders from across east Suffolk have come together to back proposals for the region to get more devolved powers from the government.

A loo with a view in Pakefield

With so much to see and do on the Suffolk coast, a day trip is just never long enough - so why not make a weekend of it? Or even book a week-long holiday?

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24