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Suffolk schools report success from social mobility pilot

PUBLISHED: 12:42 10 December 2018

Chantry Academy, which recently received a 'good' Ofsted report, has reported success in its social mobility project funded by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Chantry Academy, which recently received a 'good' Ofsted report, has reported success in its social mobility project funded by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Schools in Suffolk awarded a share of a seven-figure sum for social mobility projects have reported significant successes in the first year.

David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said it proved the success of targeted funding Picture: IBCDavid Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said it proved the success of targeted funding Picture: IBC

The Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group of council leaders and chief executives pledged £1million last year for four schools in some of the county’s most deprived areas, with the express aim of making progress to help childrens’ prospects.

Last month the schools reported a host of successes, with the University of Suffolk also updating on its research progress on the scheme.

Stoke High School – Ormiston Academy in Ipswich saw 93% of students in a small group teaching scheme make progress in English, while homework completion in Key Stage Three improved to 80%. A dedicated programme for those with reduced reading skills was also reported to be a success.

At Chantry Academy, a transition support assistant has worked with feeder schools to help pupils bridge the gap between primary and secondary school in English and maths.

Helen Winn, Ipswich Academy principal, said it used 50% of its allocation to support maths and English lessons at its six feeder primaries, and reported Key Stage Four progress being above the national average.

She added that just a “very small” cohort of pupils could not read compared to the 30% who entered secondary school.

Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft said 12% more of its pupils were going on to academic subjects at A-levels and progress with getting students into STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) at further education level had been strong.

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said it proved what was possible when headteachers who had the knowledge of what their schools needed were able to utilise funds in the best way.

“The thing I liked hearing was above the national average in things,” he said.

“Most of these schools have never been above the national average in anything, so it means a lot to them.

“It’s very unusual for headteachers just to be given money and get on and spend it rather than having conditions attached to it.

“But this shows there are clearly some things if we put some targeted money in we can make some targeted improvements.”

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