Drive to improve standards in Norfolk’s schools is getting results, say council leaders

Pupils and staff at Coltishall Primary School celebrate their outstanding Ofsted report. Picture: Su

Pupils and staff at Coltishall Primary School celebrate their outstanding Ofsted report. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A drive to improve Norfolk's schools, following criticism from watchdogs that not enough was being done to support them, is paying dividends, according to council leaders.

The Norfolk to Good and Great (N2GG) scheme was launched a year ago, following stinging criticism of Norfolk County Council's support for schools by watchdogs from the Office for Standards in Education.

Since then, 83pc of the schools on the scheme which have been inspected by Ofsted have received good or outstanding judgements.

Thirty-five schools have been visited, with 29 judged as good and one – Coltishall Primary School – judged as outstanding.

But five schools were judged to be in need of improvement, although council bosses were quick to stress they had only just joined the scheme when their inspections took place.

More than 130 schools are taking part in the scheme, which is mainly targeted at schools and academies the council or Ofsted believe need improvement.

Denise Walker, head of Norfolk to Good and Great, said: 'The N2GG strategy has been received by many schools with great enthusiasm; we are definitely experiencing a sea change in the relationship between schools and the local authority.

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'I visited more than 100 schools and academies in the last academic year and was impressed by the engagement of headteachers in the scheme.

'Schools are now networking and collaborating much more effectively and welcoming the support and challenge offered by N2GG.'

James Joyce, chairman of the children's services committee at Norfolk County Council, said: 'The programme is very much based on what has worked elsewhere in the country and on building and making use of the talent that is already here in Norfolk, as well as looking nationally and internationally for best practice.

'Headteachers, leaders and teachers have really risen to the challenge and we are positive that there are very many schools on the programme that will receive good judgments when they are next inspected.'

Do you have a schools story? Call education correspondent Martin George on 01603 772468 or you can contact him by email at martin.george@archant. co.uk