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Suffolk’s cabinet backs extension of Raising the Bar for county’s schools

PUBLISHED: 09:06 21 February 2018

Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for education Gordon Jones. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER

Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for education Gordon Jones. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER

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Challenging new targets have been set for schools by Suffolk County Council as part of the renewal of the Raising The Bar project for another two years.

When the scheme was launched in 2012, Suffolk’s schools were well below the national average in terms of school league tables – and only 70 per cent were rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.

Now the county’s attainment has improved significantly and the number of school’s rated good or outstanding has increased to 87pc.

But the county’s cabinet heard that the next two years of the project should see even tougher targets – in the hope of turning Suffolk into one of the top counties in England for educational attainment.

Gordon Jones, cabinet member for education, said: “We are determined to keep up the work and will be working with schools to try to ensure that Suffolk is in the top 25pc of education authorities in England.”

That aim includes being in the top 25pc for early years, foundation stage, and Key Stage one, two, four and five test scores.

Suffolk also aims to improve the progress of disadvantaged children – and aims to improve the number of young people going into higher education, including higher apprenticeships.

The strategy was backed by county council leader Colin Noble, who said that the progress made since the launch of the Raising the Bar programme had been remarkable – but it was important to maintain its success.

Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman Penny Otton said Suffolk should aspire for more than being in the top 25% of counties – she would like it to be even higher.

And cabinet member of Ipswich, Paul West, said it was important that schools, teachers and everyone involved should recognise the requirements of children with special educational needs like dyslexia.

Mr Jones accepted that point and said it was vital that schools should be encouraged to offer support to all youngsters who needed it.

The ambitions of the programme are: Every child, including those who are vulnerable or need extra help, has a good start in life. And every young person is given the support they need to achieve their full potential and ambitions and become a confident and successful adult.

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