Seven Norfolk schools to get helping hand from national leaders

Almost a third of complaints that Norfolk schools made about Ofsted were upheld.

Almost a third of complaints that Norfolk schools made about Ofsted were upheld. - Credit: Getty Images

Seven Norfolk schools have been selected to take part in a nationally recognised school improvement plan focused on helping them become good or outstanding.

Norfolk County Council is working with the London Leadership Strategy to support two secondary schools and five primary schools in the county.

The London Leadership Strategy is the improvement arm of the London Challenge project, which has helped raise levels of achievement in schools across the capital.

Over the past two years it has started to work with more schools from outside London and Norfolk has been earmarked for support.

The county council is funding the seven schools taking part, via its Norfolk to Good and Great Scheme. That scheme is aimed at schools judged by Ofsted as satisfactory or requiring improvement.

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The schools involved are: Attleborough High School; Great Yarmouth High School; St. William's Primary School in Norwich; Acle St Edmund's Primary School; Wroughton Junior School; Bignold Primary School in Norwich and Coltishall Primary School.

The seven schools involved have just attended the London Leadership Strategy's Securing Good Achievement conference and will now all be allocated a National Leader of Education to work alongside them and help them to secure a good or outstanding judgment at their next inspection.

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Clare Cook, headteacher of Bignold Primary School, said: 'I firmly believe that school-to-school support is the best method for sustained school improvement.

It is even better if you can work with a headteacher from an outstanding school to keep our aspirations high. If that headteacher can come from a school in a different local authority then it starts to make a real difference.'

Doug Dale, headteacher of St. William's Primary School, added: 'Our school is really excited to be taking part in this initiative. It is an opportunity supported by the county council and gives us the chance to continue to raise standards alongside other schools in Norfolk, as well as across London.

'St William's aspires to be a good school within a year and although we are already moving towards that at a fast pace, the chance to work alongside and learn from colleagues in outstanding schools will give our pupils an even better chance of learning to their full potential.'

Mick Castle, cabinet member for education and schools at Norfolk County Council, said: 'The London Challenge has a strong track record of driving forward rapid improvement in schools, which is why we are so keen to be involved.

'Our strategy is very much focused on encouraging strong schools to work with schools that may be struggling and that it a concept that has worked so successfully in London.

'We expect all of Norfolk's schools to be good or outstanding within three years and are exploring a range of ways to support and challenge schools – this also includes intervening much earlier when they cause us concern.'

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