Labour calls on more action over failing academies

The Labour Group on Suffolk County Council will today call on the administration to take decisive action to improve education by taking a more proactive approach with failing academies, to be more transparent over how individual schools are improving and to instigate an independent review of the whole of education in Suffolk.

Labour Opposition Spokesperson for Education Sonia Barker will propose a motion to a meeting of the full council asking the administration to take these three steps in order to improve education, which has been failing pupils and parents across the county.
The motion comes after GCSE exam results in some of Suffolk’s schools have been shown to be well below the national average and in some cases three times lower than the councils goal of having 65% of pupils achieving 5 A*-C including English and maths.

Cllr Barker said; “Whilst the county average looks like it is improving, this masks some of the differences across the county. Whilst some schools are doing very well there are a number of schools who are performing very badly. We have some schools, both academies and maintained schools, where the GCSE pass rate is as low as 19%, 23% and 27%, but these results are masked by good results in other school.”

She added; “This motion is calling on the administration to take action especially in academies where the councils policy is to wash their hands of any responsibility. We feel it is time for the council to ask, ‘not what is your status?’, but ‘how can we help?’

The motion will be debated at the County Council meeting today the 18th December.

The motion reads:
In recognition of the 13 secondary schools in Suffolk which are inadequate or require improvement according to the Ofsted website, and the 30% of Suffolk`s secondary school children who are receiving a sub-standard education, this council will;
• Publish an action plan for improvement for each of the schools and academies in Suffolk that have been rated as requires improvement or inadequate
• Take a proactive approach to entering into dialogue with Suffolk`s failing academies and their sponsors with a view to ensuring they take on services provided by the Learning Improvement Service.
• Commission a thorough peer review of the whole of education and skills in Suffolk, led by an outside organisation such as the LGA, in order to identify what it is that this Council needs to do to significantly improve educational results.

The speech delivered by Councillor Barker can be found at

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