Suffolk schools improving - head

SUFFOLK'S schools are rising to the challenge of improving literacy levels.A damning report by Ofsted inspectors has slated Britain's headteachers for failing primary school children.

SUFFOLK'S schools are rising to the challenge of improving literacy levels.

A damning report by Ofsted inspectors has slated Britain's headteachers for failing primary school children.

But Ipswich headteacher Clive Minnican said he believed Suffolk's schools were on the right track.

Mr Minnican's St Matthew's School, in Portman Road, Ipswich, received a glowing Ofsted report last year.


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And he said leadership given by Suffolk LEA should ensure other schools follow suit.

He said: "It reflects the good practice in Suffolk and the leadership by Suffolk LEA.

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"The Ofsted report is a broad brush stroke coming from right across the country.

"But we had a very good report last year, so we know we're getting it right."

Figures for 11-year-olds reaching required literacy levels has stood still since 2000.

And Ofsted inspectors have laid the blame squarely at the headteacher's door for the failure to improve.

Ofsted chief inspector David Bell said: "I am concerned that there is still a stubborn core of weak leadership and management where headteachers do not do enough to make a difference to the standards in their schools."

The Ofsted report showed unimaginative lessons were failing boys – who are still lagging badly in reading and writing.

Mr Minnican said the framework of the Government's school literacy hour was strong enough to provide improvement.

But he highlighted flexibility and adaptability as the key to making it effective.

He said: "The framework is very good, it's the implementation that is important.

"It requires effective leadership to make sure that the strategy works."

The Ofsted report has recommended a review of the literacy strategy and the guidance given to primary school teachers.

It will also review the primary school numeracy strategy, which is given a cautious thumbs up despite some failings in mental arithmetic.

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