Majority of parents believe children are getting a good or better education
- Credit: PA
Ofsted may be questioning the standard of education on offer in Norfolk – but the area's parents have far more faith.
In a survey conducted by EDP reporters across the county yesterday, mothers and fathers were asked to give their verdict on their children's schools and the role of the county council.
Ofsted currently rates just 54pc of Norfolk secondary schools, and 66pc of primaries, as good or better.
And during the recent focused inspections of 28 schools, 60pc were found to either require improvement or were rated inadequate.
Yet yesterday, 73pc of Norfolk parents said they believed their children were getting at least a good education.
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Mother-of-three Kirsty Tillett, 29, from Mundesley, has a four-year-old son attending a north Norfolk primary school.
She said: 'Mundesley First School is very helpful to each child. If they are struggling with anything, the teachers will work on that particular topic with them so they can improve.'
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Father-of-two Ian Williams, 50, described his son's education as 'excellent'.
The driver, of Gertrude Road, Norwich, said: 'His school is engaging him. He is learning and fully participating in all aspects of the school.'
Matt Parfett, 38, rated the education his children were receiving as 'requires improvement', but he recognised positive moves in the right direction.
Two of his children attend Thetford Academy, which was recently placed in special measures by Ofsted. Mr Parfett, a company director, said: 'Thetford Academy is working hard to improve all those issues. I believe there will be improvement.'
Parents were also asked whether they believed Norfolk County Council was doing a good enough job to ensure every child gets a good education. Although no longer responsible for the day to day running of schools, the local authority is expected to offer support and challenge when it spots weaknesses in the county.
Responses from mothers and fathers were considerably more mixed in response to that.
Just under 30pc said they believed the county council was living up to its side of the bargain although 38pc disagreed.
The remaining 32pc said they did not know – potentially reflecting the ongoing confusion surrounding what the role of the local authority is now schools are autonomous.
Norfolk County Council said it recognised there was still some ambiguity – among both the schools themselves as well as parents – in terms of who ran schools in the area and whose responsibility it was to bring about improvements.
It believes new initiatives to raise standards across the county would help to clarify that.
The final question in the EDP survey asked parents whether they believed schools were equipping their students with the right skills and knowledge for later life. Fifty-eight per cent of respondents said they did while 40pc said schools could do more. The remaining 2pc said they did not know.
A number of parents said they would like their schools to equip their children with more financial knowledge, including an understanding of taxes and bills.
Sarah Langton, a mother-of-three from Loddon, said she would also like her children to be taught more about politics and the importance of voting.