County rejects calls for new inquiry into failing schools

Labour education spokeswoman Sonia Barker

Labour education spokeswoman Sonia Barker - Credit: Archant

Suffolk County Council has rejected a Labour call for a new inquiry into the state of education in the county.

A motion put down by the Labour opposition at yesterday’s full meeting of the council was thrown out by 39 votes to 26.

Opposition education Sonia Barker asked the administration to take three steps in order to improve education, which has been failing pupils and parents across the county.

She asked it to:

n Publish an action plan for improvement for each of the schools and academies in Suffolk that have been rated as requires improvement or inadequate.

n Take a proactive approach to entering into dialogue with Suffolk’s failing academies and their sponsors.

n And commission a peer review of the whole of education and skills in Suffolk, led by an outside organisation such as the Local Government Association.

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Ms Barker told the meeting: “The results in our worst-performing schools are getting worse, not better.

“Our children and young people cannot put their lives on hold until you have got things right – unless there is radical improvement starting right now, thousands of Suffolk youngsters will have their lives blighted.”

Cabinet member for education Lisa Chambers said all the 13 schools that were identified as needing attention by Ofsted had action plans in place.

She said the council was taking a proactive approach to improve education – and the Raising the Bar programme with the Royal Society of Arts had led to an action plan being drawn up to improve education in Suffolk.