County's schools avoid 'takeover' list

SUFFOLK schools are performing well enough to avoid being placed on a hit-list of under-performing schools earmarked for takeover by those with better results, it was confirmed today.

SUFFOLK schools are performing well enough to avoid being placed on a hit-list of under-performing schools earmarked for takeover by those with better results, it was confirmed today.

As news broke today that more than 500 under-performing schools across the UK have been identified for takeover, Suffolk County Council said figures show no Suffolk school is at risk of being run by a more successful one.

A national newspaper said headteachers of leading schools would oversee improvements at those that are the worst-performing and 512 secondaries had been placed on a list for attention because 25per cent or less of pupils attained five A*-C grades at GCSE.

Rosalind Turner, director of children's and young people's services in Suffolk, told The Evening Star: “Based on provisional figures from our schools there is no indication that any Suffolk schools would be included in this list.”

She added: “We would welcome any proposal that would improve chances for young people in Suffolk.”

The plans would see less successful schools brought together with the best, under the government's controversial new trusts, which are to be independent of local authorities.

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The head of the better school would become chief executive of the trust and appoint headteachers to run the two schools. Under-performing schools that were not taken over would be closed.

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) denied that there was a 'closure hit-list' but said that trust schools would build on the success of previous collaborations.

A DfES spokesman said: “School standards have never been higher. However we have always been clear that we will not tolerate failure.

“This is why our white paper published last year sets out a range of measures to help local authorities tackle failing schools.

“Federations are already providing how strong schools can help lift the standards of weak ones.

“The trust school model will build on this enabling schools to team up and tackle failure. Closure is always a last resort and suggestions of a closure hit-list are wide of the mark.”

Weblink: www.dfes.gov.uk

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