Raising the Bar: Praise for St Pancras and Henley Primary Schools in Ipswich and The Priory Special School in Bury St Edmunds following Ofsted report

Henley Primary School nativity play.

Henley Primary School nativity play. - Credit: Archant

The release of Ofsted’s annual report this time last week presented the overall state of the national education landscape, drawing a line under the inspections completed during the last academic year.

The findings of the report were of course a strong reminder of what we still have to do across Suffolk’s schools to provide our pupils with the high standard of education they deserve, but I take great comfort in knowing that there are already some real success stories.

I want to congratulate those schools that prove we have strong teachers and head teachers working hard to raise the bar, moving in some cases from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’, and beyond that to ‘outstanding’. I also want to take time to congratulate schools this year that have retained previous ratings of ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’, despite changes to inspection methods.

Examples of schools that are leading the way in our continued improvements and will contribute to next year’s Ofsted report through their recent inspections include; St Pancras Primary in Ipswich moving from ‘requires improvement’ in June 2013’s inspection to ‘good’ in November this year, and The Priory Special School in Bury St Edmunds which continued to achieve Ofsted’s ‘outstanding’ rating this month following a previous inspection in September 2013. Henley Primary School also progressed from ‘good’ in November 2009 to ‘outstanding’ in November this year.

In regards to driving forward better results, as a county Suffolk has moved up five places in the national league standings for early years’ education this year. There have been big increases seen particularly in boys’ literacy levels and Suffolk is now higher than the national standard. In Key Stage 1, reading rates have improved 17 places from 78% in 2013 to 81% this year, and standards in writing are up 14 places, from 68% in 2013 to 71% this year.

Things are moving in the right direction as we continue to close the gap. Provisional results show we are now 1.8% off national figures.

These shoots of success are testament to the schools that have taken a degree of responsibility to look at their own methods and practices and now work in partnership with us to address issues previously highlighted in performance.

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I wish you all a very happy Christmas,

Councillor Lisa Chambers, Cabinet member for education and skills, Suffolk County Council

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