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Suffolk County Council 'fully committed' to improving standards

Suffolk County Council says it is 'fully committed' to making sure every child has the opportunity to attend a good or outstanding school in Suffolk.

In responding to a report by Ofsted - which looked at its arrangements for supporting school improvements - the council says 75 % of its schools are classed as good or outstanding.

Ofsted's report was critical of the council's progress, saying it has been 'too slow' to make improvements to school standards.

"I remain fully committed to ensuring we deliver the opportunity for every child to attend a good or outstanding school in Suffolk. Ofsted acknowledges that our vision and strategy are moving us in the right direction and there are some very positive points to take from their letter. Seventy five per cent of our schools in Suffolk are classed as good or outstanding and I am determined to continue with our good work so far in raising standards so we can achieve 100 %.”

– Cllr Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council's Cabinet member for education and schools

Visiting the authority in January, Ofsted acknowledged strengths and set out areas for improvements, including increasing school to school support and improve achievements for disadvantaged pupils.

“We have already implemented significant changes since the last Ofsted visit. Suffolk is an improving picture and Ofsted recognises this. We have closed the gap at key stage 1 and key stage 4 to within 1 per cent of national figures, an improvement of some 7 per cent. Educational standards are on the rise and we will ensure this sustainable progress and improvement continues.”

– Cllr Lisa Chambers

Report critical of Suffolk's schools - 'not enough being done to improve standards'

A damning report into education standards in Suffolk has found not enough is being done to turn around the county's struggling schools.

It's the latest in a series of reports from Ofsted criticising education in Suffolk.

Inspectors said the progress being made by Suffolk County Council was "too slow" and pupils' results were falling behind the national average.

There are now around 25 thousand children in the country who do not attend a good or outstanding school, particularly in Lowestoft and Ipswich.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu.

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Welsh rugby player to study for Masters degree at Cambridge University

Welsh rugby player Jamie Roberts is to study for a Masters degree in Medical Science and surgery at Cambridge University alongside his rugby duties.

Roberts has 69 caps for Wales and is already a qualified doctor after studying at Cardiff University.

"I'm also delighted and feel very privileged to have been accepted to study at Cambridge University and look forward to furthering my education part-time alongside my professional playing career. That balance in my life has served me well in the past."

– Jamie Roberts, Wales midfielder

Ofsted criticises Suffolk County Council for being too slow

Suffolk County Council is criticised by Ofsted Credit: ITV News Anglia

Suffolk County Council has been criticised by the education watchdog Ofsted for being slow in helping schools improve.

A recent inspection in January found while the council had made progress, it had not acted quickly enough to make significant improvements since a previous inspection last year.

Oftsed said too few pupils in the county attended a good or outstanding school, particularly in Lowestoft and Ipswich.

"25,000 pupils in Suffolk schools are not currently going to a good or better school. We found that the standard that pupils achieve at the end of primary school or secondary school are below average and most concerning for us is the disadvantaged pupils in secondary schools."

– Andrew Cook, Ofsted East of England Director

Schools in the East "struggling to break even" because of free meals

Free school meals were introduced eight months ago. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Eight months after free school meals were first offered to all infants, some teachers in the East say they're still not breaking even.

Others claim it's had an effect on the funding they receive for disadvantaged children.

The Department for Education says they've provided almost £185million, and Essex County Council has revealed there was an 800,000 shortfall in Government funding which was passed onto schools.

"I've got 79% of children taking part in this scheme at the moment, my target is 87%.

If I have 87% I would actually break even. I think it was one of these things that was rushed through.

It sounded so good at the time but the actual logistics of it all was very difficult for schools to manage."

– Sally Leung, Headteacher

West Norfolk youngsters welcome royal baby to the world

Children at Dersingham Primary School prepare cards and banners for the princess. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Youngsters at a West Norfolk school have been preparing to welcome Princess Charlotte to their part of the world.

Children at Dersingham Primary School, which is just three miles from the royal baby's home at Anmer on the Sandringham Estate, spent the day making cards, cakes and banners.

They described the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as "beautiful" and said they hoped she would enjoy living in the county.

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School open despite fire damage

A school in Milton Keynes is open today despite being damaged by fire. Credit: ITV Anglia.

A school in Milton Keynes is open today despite being damaged by fire.

The blaze began in some sheds at the back of Wavendon Gate Combined School at Gregories Drive in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It spread to the main building and the affected area has been sealed off.

Thames Valley Police say the cause of the fire is unknown.

Anger as free Milton school bus route axed by council

Parents in a Cambridgeshire village say they are angry after the free bus service which gets their children to school was stopped.

They claim the pupils from Milton now have to walk or cycle a long and unsafe route to school.

There is a parish council meeting this evening to decide the community's response to the county council.

It's a 60mph road - and there's no lighting on it. The pavement in places is half a metre wide.

And with 180 children coming from Milton every day, that road cannot sustain that safely.

– Jenny Payne, Parent

Bid to encourage more girls to become scientists

Top female scientists are visiting Norwich today to encourage more girls to follow in their footsteps. Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire.

Some of the country's top female scientists and engineers will be in Norwich today to encourage more girls to go into the field.

More than 240 children from 20 schools will attend the Women of the Future event at the John Innes Centre at the Norwich Research Park.

Organisers say the conference is unprecedented in size and nature - bringing together teenage girls from Norfolk and Suffolk with female professionals in STEMM subjects - science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine - to share knowledge and experiences.

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