Educating Norfolk: Mr Gove, please answer our questions about education in Norfolk and Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 08:43 25 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:19 25 February 2014
Improving education is the most important issue facing the future of Norfolk and Suffolk - and yet for two weeks secretary of state for education Michael Gove has repeatedly refused to be questioned about what he is doing about it.
In the past year, poor league table rankings and damning Ofsted reports have thrust our performance onto the national stage, and today business leaders tell us how the skills gap they battle against every day could cost our economy and our youngsters.
The stakes could not be higher, and yet Mr Gove has refused repeated requests to talk to the EDP to reassure residents he is aware of the issues, and tell us what he is doing about it.
Over the past fortnight, the EDP has approached Mr Gove through the Department for Education, Conservative Central Office, MPs and ministers, but he declined to be questioned.
So today the EDP is publicly calling on Mr Gove to answer 10 key questions about the state of education in Norfolk, and show that the future prospects of our county are being taken seriously at the highest levels of government.
Here are the 10 questions we would like him to answer:
1) How seriously do you take concerns about education in Norfolk?
2) What is your assessment of the current state of education in the county?
3) What are you doing to improve education in Norfolk?
4) Are you confident that strategies currently underway by the county council, academy trusts and others will improve education in the county?
5) Should Norfolk County Council retain control of its children’s services?
6) Do Norfolk schools receive a fair level of funding?
7) To what extent is the recent focus on Norfolk due to the government’s drive to increase the number of academies in the county?
8) Should parents and local communities have a vote on whether their schools become academies?
9) What is the government doing to address Sir Michael Wilshaw’s concerns about education in market towns and coastal resorts, and for white, working-class children?
10) What assessment has the government made of the impact educational under-performance in Norfolk is having on the economy of the county, and the UK as a whole?
What questions would you like to ask Mr Gove about education in the region? Comment below or tweet @EDP24