Suffolk's primary and secondary teachers are set to learn from their counterparts in teaching jobs in London as part of efforts to improve schooling in the county.
Despite increases in educational attainment levels in Suffolk between 2005 and 2012, the county still ranked 148th out of 150 local authorities for key stage two results last year and 142nd for GCSE results.
In response to this continued relative underperformance, Suffolk County Council commissioned the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) to investigate how its schools could be improved.
The RSA has reported back that Suffolk's schools need to collaborate more routinely and systematically, challenge pupils and teachers to set high expectations, innovate and implement effective practice and develop a more inclusive educational culture.
It advocated that, as part of these efforts to drive educational change, Suffolk County Council form a long-term strategic partnership with an educationally improving east London borough.
According to the RSA, such a relationship would be mutually beneficial, enhancing pupils' learning through joint projects, expanding teachers' professional expertise and strengthening leadership capacity.
Suffolk County Council has responded to this recommendation by establishing a partnership with Hackney council based around a cultural, professional and educational exchange programme.
Hackney has experienced fast improvements in educational attainment since 2005, rising up the league table of local authorities to 61st on key stage two results and 58th for GCSEs.
Councillor Lisa Chambers, Suffolk's cabinet member for education, commented: "The proposed partnership with Hackney is something we're very positive about and have already started to implement.
"This isn't about replicating exactly what Hackney has done because that wouldn’t necessarily work in Suffolk. We know that much can be achieved from closer working with them and that fresh ideas will come from partnerships like this."
She said the council would also consider the RSA's other recommendations, which included proposals for strengthening leadership and collaboration, raising the quality of learning and teaching, broadening horizons for growth, enterprise and wellbeing and sustaining momentum over time.
Posted by Alan Douglas