Suffolk: Raising the Bar initiative gets top marks from county leaders

Matthew Taylor talks about 'Raising the Bar' at Endeavour House, Ipswich
EADT 10.7.12

Matthew Taylor talks about 'Raising the Bar' at Endeavour House, Ipswich EADT 10.7.12

The county’s cabinet has formally accepted the findings of the report into education in Suffolk published in May – and has backed the initial action put in place following its publication.

And it will allow all members of the county council to have a say on the future of the education in Suffolk during a debate at its full meeting in September.

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) published its report “No School an Island” as part of the county council’s Raising the Bar initiative which was launched as Suffolk fell alarmingly down the national league tables for school performance.

The report came up with 20 recommendations to improve schooling across the county – and the initial response of the administration was to agree or accept them all.

This move was backed unanimously by the cabinet, and over the rest of the summer it will continue consultations with a wide range of people to develop a full response to be agreed at its October cabinet meeting.

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As part of this consultation there will be a full debate on the report and the Raising the Bar process at the full council meeting on September 19 at which all councillors will be able to have a say on what should happen.

The report was produced by a team led by RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor, who was a senior adviser to Tony Blair during his premiership.

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Cabinet member for schools, Lisa Chambers, told the meeting that addressing problems with schools was the council’s top priority, and the report was vital for the future of the county.

Opposition education spokeswoman Sonia Barker said that while the county had been falling down the league table, Ofsted inspectors rated 74% of the county’s schools as good or outstanding – suggesting there was much good teaching in schools across Suffolk.

She warned that some of the recommendations could lead to the county council losing too much control of schools in Suffolk.

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