Suffolk County Council has responded to a report, published by Ofsted today, following an inspection into its arrangements for supporting school improvement.
Councillor Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education, skills and young people, said:
"Ofsted’s report makes sobering reading, and rightly so. There are few issues of greater significance than the education our young people receive and if advice needs to be given, it ought to be heard – loud and clear.
“We welcome Ofsted’s report and absolutely agree with the four areas of improvement they have identified. So much so that work to address each of them is already well underway.
This report confirms that we are tackling the right issues so that the county council is in the best possible position to support and challenge schools to improve.
We will now, with this guidance from Ofsted, continue on our journey of improvement. Results are improving in Suffolk, but too slowly. And although 70% of schools in Suffolk are rated good or outstanding, this isn’t enough. We must all work to drive up standards.
Ofsted say Suffolk County Council is not doing enough to challenge or support schools.
Sean Harford, Ofsted Regional Director for the East of England, said:
Too few pupils in Suffolk attend a good or outstanding school, and far too many attend inadequate schools. That is unacceptable.
It is disappointing to find that Suffolk County Council has been ineffective in the way it supports schools. The local authority has not tackled weaknesses in schools quickly enough. That just isn’t good enough when the prospects for the young people of the county are at stake.
In the summer of 2012 the council launched its “Raising the Bar” policy as it recognised the need to raise education achievement. But there have been no significant improvements in pupils’ attainment since that time and there is still no clear strategy for how the local authority will make improvements.
We will keep working with the council and Suffolk schools so that more get to good or better.
– Sean Harford, Ofsted Regional Director for the East of England