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Norfolk looks to London for aid in school improvement

30/09/2013 Joanna
Primary and secondary teachers in Norfolk are to receive guidance from London on how they can raise standards as part of wider efforts to improve the county's schools.

Back in June, Ofsted reported that only 64 per cent of the 28 Norfolk schools it inspected in March were good or better, compared to a national average of 78 per cent.

This left the county ranked in the bottom ten per cent of local authorities for primary standards and the bottom 15 per cent for secondary standards.

Furthermore, the watchdog's subsequent examination of Norfolk County Council's role in challenging and supporting schools to do better revealed its measures for doing so had not as yet had a significant impact, and were further marred by a lack of clear targets.

Now the council has turned to the London Leadership Strategy, which has helped to raise achievement levels within the capital, to support efforts to improve five Norfolk primary schools and two secondary schools.

These schools recently sent representatives to the strategy's 'Securing Good Achievement' conference and will now be allocated a national leader of education to help them secure good or outstanding ratings next time they are inspected.

Mick Castle, Norfolk's cabinet member for education and schools, explained the local authority's strategy is focused on encouraging strong schools to work with those not faring so well, as this has proven effective in London.

He remarked: "The London Challenge has a strong track record of driving forward rapid improvement in schools, which is why we are so keen to be involved.

"We expect all of Norfolk's schools to be good or outstanding within three years and are exploring a range of ways to support and challenge schools - this also includes intervening much earlier when they cause us concern."

This comes after neighbouring Suffolk County Council announced back in May it was forming a long-term strategy with east London's Hackney Council as part of efforts to improve Suffolk's own poor standing in local authority education rankings.

Posted by Theo FouldsADNFCR-2164-ID-801643696-ADNFCR
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