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OFSTED inspectors visit Suffolk County Council

The OFSTED team will be at the council offices all week Credit: ITV Anglia

Education inspectors are visiting Suffolk Councy Council to see if the council has improved performance at schools in the county.

If follows a previous inspection which was critical of the way the council dealt with under performing schools.

OFSTED says its team will be finding out how the council supports and challenges schools in the county to improve.

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Teachers plan day of action

Teachers demonstrate during their last strike in October Credit: ITV Anglia

Some schools in Milton Keynes are expected to be affected by industrial action by two of the main teaching unions today.

It's the second in a series of strikes which affected other schools in the region earlier in the month.

Members of the National Union of Teachers and NASUWT are protesting against government education and pensions policy as well as pay and working conditions.

Parents are being advised to check school websites to see if they are opening.

Schools criticised for 'coasting'

The education watchdog Ofsted that's declared it will tackle the problem of under-performing schools in the East.

The head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw has criticised schools - including some in Norwich and Kettering - for 'coasting' and says it won't allow children to be failed any more.

In a speech today he gave a damning verdict on our region, asking why education is so dire in much of Norfolk and why East Anglia has so few National Leaders of Education.Matthew Hudson reports.

Ofsted chief questions "dire" Norfolk education

The Chief Inspector of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw asks why so many Norfolk schools are dire. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

In a hard-hitting speech on school standards the Chief Inspector of the education watchdog Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has questioned why education is so dire in much of Norfolk.

He said:

"Why is education so dire in much of Norfolk? Why does East Anglia have so few National Leaders of Education?

"This is not good enough. I make no apologies for directing inspections towards schools that are anything less than good. They require improvement and we shall visit and revisit them until they do.

_"These coasting schools are not just those in coastal isolation. They are equally to be found in Kettering and Wokingham, Norwich and Newbury.

"The pattern of underachievement is particularly evident in a swathe of the country down the East and South-east of England."

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Inspectors to visit Norfolk Education Department

Ofsted to inspect Norfolk's Education Department Credit: PA Images

Ofsted inspectors will begin scrutinising Norfolk County Council's Education Depatment from today to find out why so many of the county's schools are underperforming.

Along with the Isle of Wight, it is the first authority to undergo the five-day inspection to determine whether it is providing the right level of support and challenge to schools in its jurisdiction.

Interview with Sean Harford, Ofsted's Regional Director for the East of England

Norfolk's to be one of only two local authorities in the country to face a tough new kind of inspection by schools' watchdog Ofsted.

Instead of examining schools themselves, the inspectors will focus on the authority that runs them, to try to find out why there are so many under performing schools in the county.

The five day inspection begins next week, and will look at the leadership and support schools get, as well as seeing if their aspirations remain high enough, and if the children get enough educational opportunities.

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