IPSWICH: MP Ben Gummer described the county’s position on the league tables as “truly shocking” and said it was vital to improve the aspirations of youngsters and their families.

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He felt the problems in Suffolk had been simmering for many years and it would need a major effort over many years to turn things around.

He said: “We have been left behind as other parts of the country, indeed other parts of the world, have stormed ahead – and people have been too happy to accept their fate.

“People in my constituency need to realise they are not in competition only with those people living on the other side of Ipswich or from Norwich, but that there are people in India and China who are keen to do their jobs.”

Improvements were coming through – the establishment and growth of UCS was critical.

“That is vital because it is rapidly getting a great reputation not only for where it is, but the courses it runs which are directly linked with modern technology.

“It is something that the people of Suffolk can look to – but I’m under not illusions that it will take many years to change attitudes and really improve the aspirations of young people coming through in Suffolk.”

He had sympathy with the new management of Ipswich Academy because he knew they were building a new school.

He said: “I have been working with them as they build their new school and have seen the changes that are happening there and I think it will come right – but I can understand the concern over these results and I’m sure they will be addressing them.”

What should happen to improve our schools? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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