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Calls for joined up approach to education in Harlow

News / Tue 15th Sep 2015 at 07:46am

CALLS have been made for a more joined-up approach to ensure improvements to the education system in Essex continue.

The Educational Attainment in Essex Task and Finish Group of Essex County Council’s People and Families Scrutiny Committee has praised the progress already being made in Essex schools.

Last month’s GCSE, A-Level and Sats results were again very positive for Essex, while the number of the county’s schools rated as good or outstanding also continues to rise.

However, the task and finish group, which has today published a report after an 11 month countywide review, is keen to ensure those improvements continue.

Following evidence from individual schools, district, borough and city councils, the Young Essex Assembly, Essex School Governors Association, Essex Primary Headteachers Association and the Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex, the group has made a series of recommendations to Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning.

The recommendations, many of which are already being delivered in Essex, are:

· Schools should be encouraged to pool resources and employ subject specialists to work for clusters of schools
· School governing bodies should be given encouragement and incentives to work together to share best practice
· Consideration should be given to how to forge greater links between early years providers and infant/primary schools to improve the transition for children starting reception
· Ways to encourage employers to release school governors from work to increase their contribution to schools should be explored
· Schools should be encouraged to make full use of the pupil premium to improve the attainment of children from more deprived backgrounds
· Commitment should be shown to getting Essex into the top quartile of educational achievement across all key stages

Cllr Maggie McEwen, Chairman of the Educational Attainment in Essex Task and Finish Group, said: “There have been some notable improvements to educational attainment in Essex in recent years and we are keen to ensure that that momentum continues.

“Having spent almost a year reviewing various aspects of the county’s education system, I am pleased we have been able to produce a list of recommendations that I believe have the potential to make a real difference.”

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, added: “I am delighted with the progress being made in the county’s schools and it is very pleasing to see this acknowledged within the task and finish group’s report.

“I welcome their input and would like to assure the people of Essex that we will continue to strive for further improvements.

“A number of the group’s recommendations focus around greater collaboration between schools and this is an area we have already begun to explore, achieving great success with school-led improvement panels for example.

“As a council, we are firmly committed to ensuring children receive the best possible education.”

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