Education watchdogs return to Suffolk to examine council’s actions to improve schools


Education watchdogs have returned to Suffolk this week to make sure the county council is helping schools improve following a blitz of inspections last year.

Ofsted is inspecting the authority’s school improvement services after it found last September - in visits to 33 schools and surveys of a further 25 by phone - that there ‘was no increase in the county’s stock of good or outstanding schools’.

Nearly a fifth of the schools inspected were judged ‘inadequate’.

The council was also named the joint fourth worst in the country out of 152 local authorities for primary education in December’s Key Stage 2 results - moving up one place from the previous year.

Speaking before the inspectors arrived, Cllr Lisa Chambers, cabinet member for education, skills and young people, said improving educational attainment in Suffolk was the council’s ‘top priority’ and pointed to their efforts in the Raising the Bar initiative, which includes partnership work with schools in the London borough of Hackney, to drive up standards and achievement.

She said: “We’re focused on making sure every child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential, which includes going to a good or outstanding school.

“For that reason and because it helps us to drive improvement, we welcome Ofsted inspecting our school improvement services.

“We will be working closely with inspectors to demonstrate the positive actions we are taking to improve educational attainment across Suffolk.

“We will use the findings of the inspection to assist us in refining our approach.”