A good school for every Norfolk learner

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1 A good school for every Norfolk learner Report by the Director of Children s Services Summary Education achievement by Norfolk s children and young people is improving each year. However, it is the case that children and young people in Norfolk schools achieve less well than in other parts of England. They are also less likely to be educated in a school that is rated by Ofsted as at least good. This is a cause for concern amongst parents, Governors, Headteachers, employers, the Department for Education and for Norfolk County Council. The coalition Government has reiterated that schools are autonomous and are responsible for their own improvement. It also promotes its Academy programme as the best means of rapid school improvement. The function of the Local Authority is confirmed as being the champion of all children and young people in Norfolk and as such to offer challenge and support to schools as they seek to improve. In limited cases, where a school is deemed to be causing concern, it is incumbent on the Local Authority to intervene and, on occasions, to remove certain delegated powers so that improvement occurs rapidly and sustainably. The ambitions at the heart of this report are: to accelerate the pace of educational improvement in Norfolk in order to provide for every Norfolk child or young person a place in a good school to place improving education at the heart of Enterprising Norfolk so that young people are skilled and ready to commit to sustaining and growing the Norfolk economy and so that aspirational families regard Norfolk as a desirable place to live. This report sets out the means by which existing practice will be sharpened and new practice developed so that: All partners in Norfolk s education system are harnessed towards a common set of goals and work effectively towards these. Opportunities that arise - such as from the Academy programme, the Teaching Schools Alliances, Ofsted s new expectations of a good education for all are seized. The Local Authority s commissioning of good and outstanding schools is established as part of its role in championing Norfolk s children and young people. Standards achieved in all Norfolk schools are routinely monitored by the Local Authority (LA) as part of ongoing and positive relationships between the LA and each school Arrangements for intervention in schools causing concern are refined and broadened in order to continue to reduce the number of schools in Norfolk that are inadequate Such arrangements are described in our publication Towards Excellence in Norfolk Schools. A new programme Norfolk to Good and Great (N2GG) to be led jointly by Norfolk Headteachers, Governors and the LA emerges as a means of boosting the performance of Norfolk s satisfactory schools, now known as schools that require improvement. Norfolk s confidently good and outstanding schools steadily become the system leaders of our education system both at cluster level and county-wide. 1 continued overleaf.

2 The report outlines the means by which Norfolk County Council s investment of 1M will be used to subsidise the costs of the Norfolk to Good and Great programme. This will include the extent to which external partners will be drawn in to support and challenge the local efforts led by Norfolk s good and outstanding schools to boost those schools that require improvement. It will also describe the means by which strong relationships between schools and Norfolk County Council will be forged in the future. In this report, the term schools is used to refer to all Norfolk s publicly funded schools including Local Authority maintained schools (ie Community Schools, Voluntary Controlled and Voluntary Aided Schools), Academies and Free Schools and including Sixth Forms or other provision in such schools. Separate arrangements exist that regulate the support, challenge and quality assurance provided for Early Years settings and these are not considered in this report provision in Norfolk s two Sixth Form Colleges, in its four Further Education Colleges and its work based learning providers is not considered in this report either in spite of the strong championing role of the Local Authority for learners in these settings especially as the Participation Age rises to 17 in 2013 and 18 in Recommendation: Cabinet is asked to agree to the use of 1 Million, already approved in general terms for support of school improvement, as described in paragraph in this paper. 2

3 1. Background 1.1 Educational achievement amongst Norfolk s children and young people is improving but has been below average for many years. Ofsted and the Department for Education are clear that inconsistencies in educational standards between different parts of England must be robustly challenged. 1.2 Norfolk County Council works with a broad partnership of young people, Governors, Headteachers, Academy sponsors, the three local Diocese, Teaching Schools Alliances and Trade Unions to tackle educational under-achievement in schools. The commitment shared amongst all partners in the Norfolk education system is that We believe that all Children and Young People have the right to be healthy, happy and safe, to be loved, valued and respected, and have high aspirations for their future. 1.3 The White Paper of 2010, The Importance of Teaching clarifies that schools of whatever kind are autonomous and are responsible for their own improvement. Schools are urged to support each other to improve. The role of the Local Authority as champion of Norfolk s children and families is to provide the necessary challenge and support for all schools - whether Local Authority maintained, Academies or Free Schools - to ensure that this happens. 1.4 The 2010 Academies Act enables strong schools to become converter Academies with their own Academy Trust. Weaker schools are urged to seek sponsorship by stronger schools (or Multi Academy Trusts) and to convert to sponsored Academies. The Act permits school Governing Bodies to seek an Academy Order without the involvement of the Local Authority. The Department for Education (DfE) vigorously promotes the benefits of schools becoming stronger through Academy status. There is an expectation that weaker schools, particularly if judged inadequate by Ofsted, will become sponsored Academies. 1.5 The greater autonomy of an Academy stems from the funding agreement between each Academy Trust and the Secretary of State for Education. This is different for schools maintained by the Local Authority whose autonomy is broadly based on the principle of Local Management of Schools set out in the Education Reform Act The latter is based on autonomy being delegated to school Governing Bodies by the Local Authority with the implication that such delegation can be removed or partially removed if standards of education and leadership at the school give cause for concern. Variations on this general principle exist between Community, Voluntary Controlled and Voluntary Aided schools. 1.6 Ofsted inspects all schools regularly using a framework that is routinely updated and revised. The new emphasis from Ofsted is a good education for all signalling the clear expectation that every school should be at least good. In September 2012, the Ofsted judgement satisfactory was replaced by requires improvement ; inspection grades for schools are now outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate. This highlights the new emphasis on a good education for all. All schools should be on a journey to becoming at least good with the expectation that any school judged to be requiring improvement should have made this journey within four years at the most. 3

4 Background continued 1.7 Ofsted is currently consulting on new inspection arrangements for Local Authority education and training functions in promoting improvement, high standards and the fulfilment of educational potential of children and young people in schools. Such inspections are likely to commence formally in May Until recently, satisfactory schools were regarded as doing well enough. However, the replacement by Ofsted of the satisfactory judgement with the judgement requires improvement signals higher expectations of such schools. This in turn results in greater scrutiny of areas such as Norfolk where the proportion of schools that were regarded as satisfactory and now deemed as requiring improvement is higher than that nationally. It follows that the proportion of schools in Norfolk that are good and outstanding is lower than nationally. 1.9 Existing arrangements for challenging and supporting schools in Norfolk have had a positive impact on enabling inadequate schools to improve. Furthermore, several inadequate LA maintained schools have been transformed by structural changes including through sponsorship as Academies Norfolk County Council s position on Academies, established in November 2011, does not promote conversion to Academy status over other structural approaches to school improvement. However, the Council aims to provide extensive support for those schools that seek or need to achieve Academy status. Through such support, the Local Authority is able to ensure that the education system in Norfolk in terms of transition between Key Stages, pupil place planning and overall standards steadily improves. To date there are 25 High Schools 1 in Norfolk (out of 51) that have converted or are about to convert to Academy status 11 of which have converted as a sponsored Academy. There are 11 Primary schools (out of 357) that have converted or will soon convert to be Academies of which 6 are sponsored Academies. Additionally, one Special School has converted to become an Academy. Two Free Schools and a University Technical College have also been approved to open in Norfolk Good education lies at the heart of the current emphasis upon Enterprising Norfolk. Good education ensures that young people are appropriately skilled and ready to commit to sustaining and growing the Norfolk economy. Equally, good education means that aspirational families regard Norfolk as a desirable place to live A Norfolk child or young person has as much right to be educated in a good school as a child or young person growing up in other parts of England. Norfolk County Council is determined to accelerate the pace of educational improvement so that every Norfolk child or young person is entitled to a good school place. For this reason a resource of 1M has been identified for use over the two years 2013/14 and 2014/15. This funding will stimulate and pump prime activity undertaken by and between schools and other partners to increase the proportion of good and outstanding schools in Norfolk. Please see below for further details. 1 This includes one All Through School 4

5 2. Contents of Report 2.1 Current Position Educational achievement by children and young people in Norfolk s schools is improving year on year. In general, gaps are closing between how Norfolk children achieve and how similar children achieve nationally. However, outcomes remain below national averages The annual report of Her Majesty s Chief Inspector of Education, Children s Services and Skills for 2011/12 summarises the relative Inspection rating of schools in different regions and Local Authorities as on 31 August The proportion of good and outstanding schools in Norfolk is well below the England and regional averages at both Primary and Secondary levels. Proportions of schools in each category are shown below. Actual numbers of Norfolk schools that have an inspection grading are given in brackets. Phase Region Outstanding Good % Good or better Requires Improvement* Inadequate % less than Good Secondary England 26% 40% 66% 30% 3% 33% East of England 23% 39% 62% 33% 4% 37% Norfolk 15% (7) 32% (14) 47% (21) 43% (19) 11% (5) 54% (24) Primary England 18% 51% 69% 29% 2% 31% East of England 17% 49% 66% 31% 3% 34% Norfolk 10% (36) 50% (180) 60% (216) 38% (136) 2% (7) 40% (143) * From September 2012, the satisfactory category was replaced by Requires Improvement % of English secondary schools were at least good compared to 47% of Norfolk secondary schools. 69% of English primary schools were at least good compared to 60% of Norfolk primary schools In spite of steady improvements, it is the case that children and young people in Norfolk schools achieve less well than in other parts of England. They are also less likely to be educated in a school that is rated by Ofsted as at least good. 5

6 2.2 The issues to be addressed In general terms, the focus for Norfolk needs to be on improving schools that require improvement to become confidently good or outstanding. The recent call by Ofsted for a good education for all reveals the fact that a smaller proportion of children in Norfolk schools benefit from a good school than is the case nationally Part of the challenge to be provided for weaker schools by the Local Authority is set out in guidance re-issued in 2012 and based on the Education and Inspections Act of This specifies that if a school has been judged inadequate by Ofsted or has been issued with a Performance Standards and Safety Warning Notice by the Local Authority it is deemed to be a school causing concern and to be eligible for intervention. Processes exist for the Local Authority to intervene with such schools in a range of ways. These are : o o o o appointing additional Governors requiring the Governing Body to enter into arrangements regarding contracts for services or collaboration with other schools or colleges appointing an Interim Executive Board and suspension of delegated authority for the Governing Body to manage the school s budget. Whilst such formal processes do not exist for the Local Authority to intervene in Academies and Free Schools, parallel informal processes, based on the positive relationships that exist between the Local Authority and all of Norfolk s Academies, are envisaged if an Academy becomes a school causing concern. If such informal processes are unsuccessful in bringing about improvement, it is incumbent on the Local Authority to record its concerns with Ofsted. A system of monitoring of all Norfolk s schools and targeted intervention in those deemed to be schools causing concern has been in place since September 2011 albeit without routine use of the full panoply of processes permitted Norfolk Local Authority plays a vigorous role in convening partnerships and in brokering arrangements for schools to support each other and for them to consider their own strategic futures. This is manifest in the Council s position on Academies (OSP Report November 2011) and Small Schools and Federations (OSP Report July 2012). It is also apparent in the Local Authority s proactive work in drawing together Headteacher and Governor Associations, its work in enabling Teaching Schools Alliances and in its ongoing work with the three local Diocese and with the group of Academy sponsors that now work in Norfolk. These partnerships could be developed in a way that more sharply tackles the need for schools that require improvement to become good and outstanding Responsibility for providing impartial information, advice and guidance about future employment and education opportunities now rests with schools themselves. There is a concern nationally and locally expressed by Norfolk s Employment and Skills Board that young people are not sufficiently informed of their options. Partnership groups such as Norfolk s Education and Training Strategy Group focus on this issue and this issue needs to be included strongly in raising aspirations for children and young people in schools that are inadequate or require improvement. 6

7 2.3 Proposal for change The proposals that follow aim to accelerate the pace of educational improvement in Norfolk. They aim to do so by harnessing all partners in the Norfolk education system to a common purpose and to make the best use possible of available resources and opportunities, including those presented through the Teaching Schools Alliances and the Academy programme The proposals sharpen existing good practice and seek to develop new practice in ways that enhance and complement the County s and the Government s ambitions for Norfolk. The proposals enable the Local Authority to commission good and outstanding schools as part of its role in championing all of Norfolk s children and young people. 7

8 Monitoring the quality of education achievement The Local Authority s Education Achievement and Intervention Team oversees ongoing risk assessment of the standards of achievement by children and young people in all of Norfolk s schools. Using all of the information available, in particular recent examination and test results and recent Ofsted inspection outcomes, the LA monitors standards to determine the current standing of each school. The validity of such assessments is assured as a result of the current Ofsted inspection experience of several Advisers in our Education Achievement and Intervention Team Existing processes for monitoring the quality of education being provided by each Norfolk school will be strengthened through a process of annual challenge conversations with all schools in order to ensure that the LA view is fully informed by each school s own self-evaluation. Such annual conversations will form an important part of the ongoing and robust relationship between Norfolk LA and each school This process of monitoring should more explicitly distinguish between schools regarded by the LA as Schools causing concern and subject to intervention. Schools requiring improvement. Schools that are confidently good or outstanding. Confident 1 1 and Confident 2 Norfolk Good to Great Schools causing concern D Transition 1,2,3 Ofsted 4 A B C E F LA 4 Stuck 3 Improving 3 System Leaders Code LA grade Description Category F 1 Outstanding System leaders E 1 Confidently Good 2 Good or borderline Good C 3 Requires Improvement and improving Norfolk to Good and Great (N2GG) B 3 Requires Improvement but stuck A 4 Identified by the LA as a school causing Schools Causing Concern concern D 1,2,3 Schools that could be Outstanding, Good or Requiring Improvement but in temporary transition due to a staffing, pupil or resources crisis, where this might have an adverse effect on provision Temporary School Causing Concern 8

9 Intervention for Excellence: Schools Causing Concern Arrangements for monitoring all Norfolk schools and for intervention activity with schools causing concern are set out in our publication Towards Excellence in Norfolk Schools. This is currently being revised as Intervention for Excellence in Norfolk Schools to reflect a more robust approach to monitoring and intervention and to clarify the direct role played by the Local Authority in schools causing concern. It will be used by the Local Authority s Education Achievement and Intervention Team as the basis for their work in eradicating inadequate schools in Norfolk and in commissioning schools to be on a journey to being good and better The impact of the intervention regime to date is evident by comparing the summary of Ofsted grades for Norfolk schools for February 2013 with the summary for August 2012 (also shown in above). During this period the proportion of primary and secondary schools rated good or better increased by 3% and 8% respectively. This positive impact is also reflected in the consistently good comments in recent school Ofsted reports on the LA s role in supporting and challenging improvement. Norfolk Outstanding Good % Good or better Requires Improvement* Inadequate % less than Good Secondary Primary August 2012 Feb 2013 August 2012 Feb % (7) 32% (14) 47% (21) 43% (19) 11% (5) 54% (24) 14% (6) 41% (18) 55% (24) 41% (18) 5% (2) 46% (20) 10% (36) 50% (180) 60% (216) 38% (136) 2% (7) 40% (143) 11% (38) 52% (188) 63% (226) 34% (123) 3% (10) 36% (133) The Local Authority s Education Strategy and Partnership Development Team also works closely with schools causing concern in order that appropriate and sustainable structural solutions are identified whether Academy status, Federation or other alternative Improvement plans drawn up by schools causing concern are approved and monitored by the Local Authority. Relevant services to bring about improvement from high performing schools including from the Teaching Schools Alliances and from other providers such as NIEAS (Norfolk Integrated Education Advisory Services) are commissioned by the school but with support and challenge from the Local Authority Part of the revised Intervention for Excellence in Norfolk Schools will be to describe the means by which Norfolk LA will work with, support and challenge Academies that are or at risk of providing an inadequate standard of education It will be important for all partners Headteacher and Governor associations, employers, Trade Unions, Norfolk County Councillors to be committed to ensuring that no Norfolk school is deemed inadequate and to support the intervention regime established by the Local Authority s Education Achievement and Intervention Team in identified schools causing concern. 9

10 Norfolk to Good and Great (N2GG): Schools requiring improvement Those schools identified as requiring improvement will be strongly urged to participate in a new programme to be known as Norfolk to Good and Great or N2GG. The programme will concentrate on the 160 Norfolk schools that are currently deemed to be satisfactory and now described as requiring improvement. It will acknowledge the autonomy of such schools and will build on such schools freedom to collaborate with a wide range of partners in order to bring about rapid improvement The programme will be jointly owned by Norfolk schools through the Headteacher and Governor associations, by the Teaching Schools Alliances and by the Local Authority It will be governed by the well established Children s Services Service Improvement Board (SIB) that draws together Norfolk s Headteacher and Governor associations, the Joint Consultative Committee, elected Members and the Director of Children s Services. Quality assurance of N2GG will be provided for SIB by the LA Education Achievement and Intervention Team The programme will be offered to schools through Norfolk Integrated Education Advisory Service (NIEAS) and its associates as a bespoke package of school improvement activity with the costs being subsidised by Norfolk County Council s investment of 1M. Participating schools will contribute to the costs of the programme using delegated funding intended for such purposes The programme will rely heavily on strong, focused and mutually supportive partnership between schools, Academy sponsors, the three diocese and other partners such as other Local Authorities and Higher Education providers, still to be identified The programme will draw together opportunities for such schools to be supported and challenged by peers in good and outstanding schools in Norfolk and by other partners in the Norfolk education system such as the Diocese and Academy sponsors. robust support and challenge for leadership of school improvement including from external partners such as high performing Local Authorities, the National College and relevant Higher Education providers. opportunities for targeted teacher continuing professional development from good and outstanding Norfolk schools including the Teaching Schools Alliances, Local and National Leaders of Education, Academy Trusts and from other training providers including NIEAS. opportunities for Governor development from good and outstanding Norfolk schools and from other training providers including NIEAS (Governor Support Services). activity to draw parents into supporting their children s learning. opportunities for schools to tune in with the aspirations of the Norfolk economy through Norfolk employer networks and the LA s Employment and Skills team and so inspire their children and young people with a sense of a positive future. strong Link Adviser role to offer support and challenge for improvement in each Cluster based on annual challenge conversations and appropriate signposting to Norfolk services (NIEAS, Human Resources, Finance, safeguarding, educational psychology etc). development of sustainable improvement partnerships within clusters and Diocesan groupings, with Teaching School Alliances and with other good and outstanding schools. development of sustainable structural partnerships (eg Academy groupings, federations etc). 10

11 Norfolk to Good and Great (N2GG): Schools requiring improvement (continued) The programme will operate over two financial years (2013/14 and 2014/15) with the bulk of activity taking place during the academic years 2013/14 and 2014/15. The target is to improve the proportion of Norfolk schools that are at least good to national average and beyond. Schools involved would contribute financially to the package with NCC s investment contributing to the costs of the involvement of strong schools and external partners. Indicative use of Norfolk County Council s investment would be as follows. 2013/ /2015 Cost of 0.6 FTE senior leader 60,000 60,000 (See below) Subsidy for improvement 175, ,000 activity provided by good and outstanding schools (See to above) Subsidy for improvement 65,000 90,000 activity provided by other outstanding providers (See to above) Tapered subsidy for challenge 200, ,000 and support by Cluster Link Adviser (To be sustained through top-slice from Norfolk Services to Schools) (See to above) Totals 500, ,000 Grand total 1,000, Local Authority Teams will have key contributions to make in facilitating the programme. NIEAS will coordinate the bespoke package of activity for each school. The Education Strategy and Partnership Development Team will ensure that opportunities exist for sustainable improvement and structural partnerships to be brokered and developed. The Employment and Skills Team will ensure that improvement is set in the context of economic opportunities and of Enterprising Norfolk. The Education Achievement and Intervention Team will lead on the identification of eligible schools and will offer an element of quality assurance to the packages of activity being offered The Norfolk to Good and Great programme will be led by an experienced senior education leader who has the respect of Headteachers and Governors and the authority to work across organisations and teams in order that there is a remorseless and unapologetic focus upon education improvement. He or she could be a seconded Headteacher, Principal or Senior Adviser. 11

12 System Leadership: Schools that are confidently good or outstanding School improvement is the responsibility of individual schools and school to school support is envisaged as the primary means by which weaker schools become stronger. It is therefore necessary for confidently good and outstanding schools to regard themselves as system leaders. It is for this reason that Norfolk s Headteacher and Governor associations play an increasingly important and influential role in leading and shaping the Norfolk education system Many strong Norfolk schools play leading roles in their own clusters, in the Teaching Schools Alliances, as Academy sponsors and in Federations. It is essential that this energy is focused on improving the education system and those strong schools increasingly regard themselves as system leaders Norfolk Local Authority will support this development including through brokerage of improvement and structural partnerships by the Education Strategy and Partnership Development Team Strong and effective relationship management between Norfolk County Council and each school cluster will be a feature of N2GG and this will extend to forging particular links with good and outstanding schools. The Local Authority will endeavour to facilitate the developing education strategy in each district and cluster through support for good and outstanding schools by District Intervention Teams, Partnership Advisers and appropriate linking arrangements with each Cluster. An ambition is for the relationships that lead to effective education improvement in each locality to be led by local good and outstanding schools. 3. Resource Implications 3.1 Finance: Costs of the proposals made in this report will be covered from existing LA staff budgets for work with schools causing concern and for partnership development activity. The costs of Norfolk to Good and Great will be pump primed by 500,000 per year over 2013/14 and 2014/15 as agreed by the County Council on 18 February This will be co-funded by benefiting schools using funding delegated for the purpose of school improvement. 3.2 Staff: The Norfolk to Good and Great programme will be led by a senior education professional and the programme will benefit from input from external partners. The intention would be to minimise the number of additional staff appointed to Norfolk County Council and instead to share such responsibility with school partners. 12

13 4. Other Implications 4.1 Legal Implications: The recommendations contained in this report include reference to the statutory role of the Local Authority in intervening with schools causing concern as described in the Education and Inspections Act Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) : This report recognises that educational achievement in Norfolk is lower than the average for England. The report recommends a range of means by which this iniquity might be tackled. 4.3 Communications: Given that much of what is proposed is based on partnership activity, extensive communication will be necessary with Headteacher and Governor associations, with the Teaching Schools Alliances, with schools and clusters and with partners such as the three Diocese and Academy sponsor groups. 4.4 Impact on Children and Young People in Norfolk : The recommendations in the report have the potential to improve the overall standards of education in Norfolk schools and so improve the education and life chances of children and young people in Norfolk. 4.5 Health and Safety Implications: The sharpening of intervention activity with schools causing concern and the accelerating of improvement for schools requiring improvement could create additional anxiety for staff, Governors, children and young people. However, the report highlights the ways in which greater clarity will be provided for schools and school leaders on how, given their own unique circumstances, improvement might be achieved. Clarity will lead to a greater sense of self-determination and the identification of appropriate training and support that will bring about improvement. Given that all staff and Governors want to see improvement, the recommendations have the benefit of working with the grain of existing ambition and aspirations. 4.6 Environmental Implications: The main environmental implication will be in additional journeys for staff in travelling to and from other schools and centres of excellence. The implications will be minimized through careful planning of travel arrangements including where possible through lift sharing. 4.7 Any Other implications: Officers have considered all the implications of which members should be aware of. Apart from those listed in the report (above), there are no other implications to take into account. 5. Section 17 Crime and Disorder Act 5.1 Better education outcomes and more skilled young people, as described in the report, will enable a more measured transition from education to training and employment. This will be to the benefit of those young people at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment and training) some of whom are also at risk of offending. The report s recommendations have the potential to make a positive impact on young people and to reduce their likelihood of becoming involved in criminal and/or anti-social activity. 13

14 6. Risk Implications/Assessment 6.1 The risks posed by the current situation are that Norfolk s children and young people will not be as well prepared for the future as those in other parts of England. This could have a deleterious effect on the Norfolk economy through an insufficiently skilled workforce to maintain businesses in Norfolk and attract new businesses. The risks to schools of not improving sufficiently quickly is that their reputation suffers and that recruitment and long-term viability are threatened. The risk to Norfolk County Council is that its reputation could suffer if judged to be unsuccessful in challenging and supporting its schools to improve. These risks will be mitigated by an ambitious and forthright partnership approach to implementing the recommendations in the report. 6.2 The risk of the recommendations failing to improve educational standards as described is that the County Council s investment would not have been worthwhile. This will be mitigated by strong governance, leadership and quality assurance of the various recommendations so that the programmes described may be modified in the light of experience. 7. Overview & Scrutiny Panel Comments 7.1 A lengthy discussion took place on 14 March 2013 at the end of which Children s Services Overview and Scrutiny Panel gave support for the general direction being proposed. 7.2 Panel comments included an urgent desire for rapid improvement in Norfolk s schools as well as support for the planned approach to sharper, more robust intervention by the Local Authority in schools deemed to be causing concern. Comments confirmed the autonomy of schools and supported the planned scheme Norfolk to Good and Great that will harness all of the support available from strong schools and elsewhere to enable schools that require improvement to rapidly improve themselves. Panel members highlighted the importance of good Governance and good Governing Bodies in improving educational standards in Norfolk schools. 8. Alternative Options 8.1 Given Norfolk County Council s decision to invest in support for school improvement, the option presented uses funding to subsidise activity that will mainly be funded by schools themselves. An alternative option would be to reduce significantly the partnership activity described in the report and to fully fund activity for schools that require improvement. However, this would reduce the scope of the activity and would also encourage a dependency by the benefiting schools. 14

15 9. Reason for Decision 9.1 Cabinet is asked to make this decision to enable funds already agreed by the County Council to be applied to the improvement of those Norfolk schools that are deemed to require improvement. The County Council s investment will be used alongside funds held by each school for the purpose of self-improvement. 10. Recommendation 10.1 Cabinet is asked to agree to the use of 1 Million, already approved in general terms for support of school improvement, as described in paragraph in this paper. Background Papers The Importance of Teaching, Coalition Government s Education White Paper, Autumn 2010 The Education Reform Act 1988 The Education and Inspections Act 2006 The Academies Act 2010 Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on schools causing concern relating to maintained schools of concern, re-issued by the Department for Education 2012 Norfolk County Council s Towards Excellence in Norfolk Schools, first issued in 2011 and now in revision. Ofsted s DataView 15

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