Suffolk: County to spend millions on improving education after Raising the Bar report

Lisa Chambers

Lisa Chambers - Credit: Archant

As schools across Suffolk start digesting the first of last month’s Ofsted reports, the council is set to implement the findings of the “Raising the Bar” report.

Next week’s cabinet meeting is set to approve the spending of £2.4 million on improvements to education that were identified in the report by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), overseen by its chief executive Matthew Taylor.

The report, entitled No School an Island, identified a number of steps that should be taken to improve teaching and education in general at the county’s schools.

The council put the money into its reserves earlier this year to allow it make changes following the publication.

Part of the funding would be used to provide training for school governors. Some will be used to develop employment opportunities for young people through apprenticeships, internships and graduate offers.


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A new Challenge Fund will also be set up to support innovative, evidence-based good practice within our schools.

The cabinet, is being urged to agree with all the recommendations in the report, while acknowledging that it is not always appropriate for the county council to lead on the implementation of some of the recommendations.

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Among the recommendations to be agreed by the cabinet are:

Widening the pool of teaching talent by investing in recruitment of good and outstanding teachers.

Developing the curriculum and the Suffolk Baccalaureate to provide youngsters with a greater range of skills.

Recognising excellent teaching already going on in schools with an annual awards ceremony.

Campaigning to involve parents more in their children’s education.

A partnership is being developed with the London Borough of Hackney to develop greater two-way learning and sharing of best practice between schools.

Lisa Chambers, Suffolk’s cabinet member young people, said: “The rate of improvement in educational standards in Suffolk needs to see a real step change.

“We cannot be satisfied with tinkering around the edges and not really addressing the real issues. We must have the courage to be bold and innovative, to take the difficult decisions and put in the hard work that is required to make this happen.

“I am excited about moving into the full implementation phase of the Raising the Bar programme and I’d like to thank schools, businesses and parents for their support and enthusiasm so far.”

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