Norfolk schools report: County pledges to do better

Support for Norfolk schools by the county council has been judged by inspectors to be "ineffective".

A strategy for improvement entitled A Good School for Every Norfolk Learner had not made a strong enough impact and lacked clear targets.

Some schools were also "ambivalent or resistant to partnership working", a key ingredient, Ofsted inspectors said.

Norfolk County Council said it would strengthen its improvement strategy and had already appointed new management.

Ofsted examined the role of the county council in challenging and supporting schools to improve.

Inspectors found the strategy was a "clear statement of intent to challenge and support schools to improve".

"However, at the time of the inspection earlier this year the strategy had not yet made a strong enough impact and inspectors found it lacked clear targets for the county's schools."

Strong new leader

Gordon Boyd, Norfolk's assistant director of children's services, said: "We have too many schools in Norfolk that are not good enough or have not been quick enough to improve.

"Ofsted's judgement, therefore, comes as no surprise. In the past we have been too slow to act in schools that are causing concern.

"However, our new strategy focuses on much earlier intervention and is beginning to show positive signs of progress."

Ofsted said ambivalence or resistance to partnership working was "slowing the pace of improvement".

Mick Castle, cabinet member for schools, said: "The county council has previously seen cuts in this area and that is something we are keen to address.

"We have just appointed Sheila Lock to lead children's services in the interim and we know she has a strong track record of bringing about improvements in both education and social care.

"We are confident that she will provide further support to our strategy."

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