Suffolk identified as education 'cold spot' in need of improvement

File photo dated 12/09/18 of students in a lesson at school. Seven in 10 teachers feel stressed in t

Suffolk is one of the areas in the country identified where school outcomes are the weakest - Credit: PA

The Government has announced 55 education "cold spots" in England - including Suffolk - that have been identified as part of the levelling-up agenda.

Areas where education outcomes are weakest will be targeted for support, with teachers offered a "levelling-up premium" to improve retention.

Schools in the Education Investment Areas, like Suffolk, which are judged less than "good" by Ofsted in successive inspections could be moved into multi-academy trusts under the plans.

Plans are set to be unveiled today which will include measures to improve standards of education in these areas over the next 10 years, with the suggestion of elite sixth form colleges for high performing children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Commenting on government proposals on the education of disadvantaged children from its anticipated 'Levelling Up' White Paper, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Whilst the National Education Union welcomes any new investment in schools it is vital to note, as the National Audit Office has pointed out, 'there has been a relative re-distribution of funding from the most deprived schools to the least deprived schools'.

"We can see that many of the areas now targeted for support have been among the hardest hit by education cuts over the last decade - on the government's own watch, and entirely of its own making.  

“The sums being promised will not make up for what has been cut. If the government was serious about levelling up education, then it would restore all the money it has cut from these schools."

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Between 2012 and 2020 Suffolk County Council ran a programme called 'Raising the Bar', to try and improve levels of educational attainment across the county.

The aims were to help children achieve their full potential, attend a good or outstanding provider and have the best preparation for life before and beyond school.

The Ipswich Opportunity project continues to bring education, skills and training to young people in Ipswich.

Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham

Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham headteacher, Philip Hurst. - Credit: PHIL MORLEY

The county council is expected to make a comment once the paper has been released.

Reacting to the announcement, Philip Hurst, headteacher of Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, said: "The opportunity for more investment in education across the country is always welcomed.

"I'm sure there is some devil in the detail but attracting and retaining the best staff in the system makes the greatest difference to the lives of young people."