Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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.

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

Work has started in Colchester to clean up the chewing gum on the streets.
L-R Lee Western,Cllr Beverley Oxford,Cllr Tim Young,Cllr Bill Frame.

Streets in central Colchester are being deep cleaned in a bid to free them of chewing gum.

Firefighters tackled a small blaze at an address in Lavenham

Firefighters tackled a large fire tonight which was in danger of spreading to a nearby bungalow.

Remnants of what is thought to be an 18th century ship found by Mark Hopkins on Thorpeness beach

Remnants of a what is thought to be a centuries-old shipwreck have resurfaced on the Suffolk coast.

A120 closed after serious crash.

Long Green, off the A120 at Galleys Corner in Braintree, is closed following a serious crash this evening.

The accident happened on the A12 at Chelmsford

All lanes have now reopened on the A12 at Chelmsford following an accident in which a man died this morning.

Rollerworld Colchester

A casting call to recruit keen skaters for a music video at Colchester’s iconic rollerblading venue has received 60 responses in just 24 hours.

A collision on East Mersea Road between a bus and a low-loader lorry which was carrying a steam engine.  Photo: Su Anderson

A bus driver who was critically injured in a crash involving a lorry carrying a 15 tonne steam engine told emergency teams to leave him and help his passengers instead.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24