‘We need to grow the energy we have’ - Head of relaunched school improvement scheme says there will be no complacency

Denise Walker speaking to headteachers and governors at the launch of the new Norfolk Better to Best

Denise Walker speaking to headteachers and governors at the launch of the new Norfolk Better to Best. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

School leaders must not be complacent in their journey to pull up standards, the head of a relaunched improvement scheme has said.

Alex Robinson speaking to Mustard TV about the new Norfolk Better to Best. Picture: Archant

Alex Robinson speaking to Mustard TV about the new Norfolk Better to Best. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Since it was set up in 2013, Norfolk Better to Best (NB2B) - which was previously run by Norfolk County Council - has seen the percentage of good or outstanding schools in the county jump from 63pc to 89pc.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the improvement scheme would be handed over to member schools - and would come under new not-for-profit company Viscount Nelson Education Network (VNET).

At Tuesday's launch morning, Denise Walker, who has run NB2B and will be a director of VNET, said the positive last few years would not see them rest on their laurels.

'We have been on a real trajectory of improvement,' she said.

'Although we have had a tremendous time, we must not be complacent about the journey.


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'We need to grow the energy that we have and the enthusiasm of our teachers.

'We truly believe that there is no reason why children in Norfolk can't have as brilliant a education as any where else in the country.'

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Speaking to headteachers and governors, she said the move marked a real turnaround from 2013, when the reputation of education in the county was described as 'dire'.

VNET, which will be based at Poultec in Mattishall, will be overseen by a board of governors chaired by Alex Robinson, former chairman of the Norfolk Governors Network.

Their approach - a former council project taken over by school leaders - is thought to be the first of its kind in the country.

He said: 'One of the things that's really struck me in Norfolk is that sometimes we have to create our own solutions.

'We have small schools and smaller secondary schools and sometimes solutions don't work across the board.

'Working locally makes a big difference and getting school leaders talking has seemed to be the key.'

Though VNET had an initial goal of getting 120 schools on board, they currently have 240.

Do you have an education story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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