Thurston college is UK’s first to receive quality award

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Thurston Community College is the first secondary school in the UK to complete the Families First Quality Award.

The award recognises schools’ excellence in providing information, advice and assistance to local families.

Helen Wilson, college principal, said: “The challenge of the rural environment has served as an increased incentive to ensure our parents, carers and wider families are fully involved in their children’s education.

“It is vital families are aware of the support available to them - receiving that support can improve the quality of family life and the educational outcomes for their children.”

Krystyna Pinches, of Family and Childcare Trust, which coordinates the award with the National Association of Families Information Services, said: “For many schools, it is a challenging time as they are being asked to work more efficiently while still delivering excellent outcomes.

“The award gives schools the recognition they deserve and functions as an effective quality improvement tool, giving staff the confidence they need to provide an excellent service to families in their local area.”

Cllr Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, said Suffolk County Council was part of the partnership that helped develop the award and he would encourage as many schools as possible to complete them.

Schools are evaluated against a set of standards that demonstrate excellence in information provision for parents and children, especially disadvantaged or hard-to-reach families.