Council pledge to get tougher on earlier intervention in struggling Norfolk schools

Mick Castle. Picture: James Bass

Mick Castle. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

Norfolk County Council will get tougher on failing schools quicker, according to newly-released details of its strategy to improve standards.

More details of the plan have been given in a report which councillors will examine at next Thursday's Children's Services Overview Panel.

Ofsted highlighted concerns about education in the county after a blitz of 28 school inspections in one week in March, followed by an inspection of how County Hall helps schools improve. The outcome of that inspection is expected next week.

The council drew up its A Good School for Every Norfolk Learner strategy last autumn in a bid to improve standards. The strategy includes the Norfolk to Good and Great Scheme, which will target up to 138 schools which are not judged 'good' or 'outstanding'.

The report says schools struggling to raise attainment will be sent an advice notice giving them four weeks to develop an improvement plan.

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If they do not make enough progress, they will be classed as a 'school causing concern', triggering intervention which could include installing an interim executive board, changing governors, or stepping in to take control of budgets

Cabinet member for schools Mick Castle said: 'This new focus is far more robust, cementing our role as a critical friend to schools but emphasising that we will take action far more quickly when school improvement is too slow.

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'We want good and outstanding schools to share what works and this strategy is aimed at ensuring schools are pulling together, alongside the county council and our partners to raise standards across the county.'

The report said the number of schools with positive Ofsted reports has risen since the strategy was adopted.

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