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North Yorkshire Targets School Improvement


8:07am 28th June 2013

North Yorkshire County Council is setting up a commission for school improvement which will look into the most effective model for achieving the highest standards of education through collaborative working.

Although North Yorkshire is among the top ten per cent of authorities nationally for GCSE and A-level performance, the county council says it is ambitions for every one of its schools to be classed as good or outstanding and for every child and young person, regardless of their background, to achieve to the best of their ability.

The county council says it believes the time has come for a new local model for driving up school standards, given the changing face of school provision in England: -  the growth nationally of academy chains, teaching school alliances, free schools, school clusters and other networks.  

The local authority says it wants to build on what already works effectively in North Yorkshire by exploring new opportunities for collaborative working and new partnerships to create a highly flexible but effective school and local authority-led structure for school improvement.

The North Yorkshire commission will bring together a group of around 15-20 school leaders in the county to conduct a “rapid, evidence-informed enquiry into models of school-led improvement “.  Their task will be to gather evidence of good practice nationally and locally and explore what systems work best.  The commission might include visits to other schools and authorities, input from leading practitioners as well as a review of available research.

The commission is expected to complete its work and share its recommendations with all headteachers by the end of next autumn term.

“Given the rapidly changing nature of school provision nationally, it seems only right that a local authority like North Yorkshire, which is ambitious for the best educational outcomes for its children and young people, should undertake a root and branch review of its school improvement service,” said County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools.

 “We believe in North Yorkshire, like Government, that the primary responsibility for improvement rests with schools.  But we also believe that a local authority has a key leadership role in developing effective partnership working, building relationships between schools, sharing knowledge, facilitating peer learning and upholding accountability.  Our task now is to achieve the most effective partnership model which will be fit for purpose in the coming years.”

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