Government rewards regional excellence

LIBRARIES and schools in Suffolk are among the best in Britain – and that's official!The county's education and library services have been awarded two Beacon awards by the government.

By Judy Rimmer

LIBRARIES and schools in Suffolk are among the best in Britain – and that's official!

The county's education and library services have been awarded two Beacon awards by the government. Nick Raynsford, Minister for Local Government and the Regions, officially presented the awards yesterday at a ceremony in London.

Suffolk has won this national recognition for its work on using libraries as a community resource, and helping youngsters to make a smooth transition between different stages of their education.

County council deputy leader Bryony Rudkin said: "We are delighted that the government has recognised all our efforts and achievement with this award.

"Coming so soon after our excellent Ofsted inspection report, it is a further boost to the hard work of all involved in education in Suffolk."

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Executive committee member Kathy Pollard added: "All those involved with the provision of library services have worked incredibly hard to bring library access to all parts of our community."

The Beacon award for libraries has spotlighted a pilot scheme called Library Links, which aims to develop new ways of bringing books and information services to rural communities.

Mini-libraries, including a selection of books and a computer, have been opened up in eight varied village locations, including a shop and post office.

There's also praise for the authority's innovative use of new technology in libraries, and its unique partnership with the Employment Service to enable people to access the details of 400,000 jobs through the Worktrain website.

The Beacon award for the education service recognises the authority's work to help pupils make smooth moves between different stages of their schooling, through induction programmes in their old and new school before a move.

Electronic methods have also been developed to transfer pupil information between schools and help teachers plan work.

Suffolk County Council is the only council in the Eastern Region to have been rewarded with Beacon status every year since the award's conception, and this is the second time it has won a double award.

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www.suffolkcc.gov.uk

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