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‘Future of Bradford schools is in good hands’
The future of children’s education in Bradford is in safe hands, a meeting heard last night.
Councillors on the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee were told that four partnerships were working together with a “passion” to improve educational standards across the district now and in the future.
Representatives of Bradford Partnership, Bradford Primary Improvement Partnership (BPIP), the District Achievement Partnership (DAP) and the Nursery Schools Partnership told of their hard work and earned praise from Councillor Malcolm Sykes, chairman of the scrutiny committee.
Coun Sykes had asked why Bradford’s primary schools came third-bottom of a 150-strong table for SATs results, when 84 per cent of those schools were rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by inspection body Ofsted.
Gillian Edge, head teacher at Killinghall Primary School and joint-chairman of BPIP, replied: “Schools in Bradford are recognised by Ofsted for the work they do.
“They are recognised for things like progress, leadership and management, and health and safety – not just attainment.
“Ofsted actually recognise the good work being done in schools.”
Coun Sykes said: “We are judged on 147th out of 150, that is the reality of the situation.
“We have got to get some of these more positive measures across.”
BPIP co-chairman Elizabeth Lawley added: “The results you are quoting are the end product. What Ofsted are judging is progress.”
George McQueen, assistant director of access and inclusion at Bradford Council, said: “We are not running away from why those results are so bad, and we are not looking for excuses. We are working on the problem, closing the gap and improving results.”
David Horn, chairman of Bradford Partnership, which works with secondary schools, said: “Our children are capable of achieving amazing things and so are school leaders.
“We are putting in place structures that will allow progress over time. We are trying to work out what our strengths are and how we progress. It will not happen overnight.
“Trust us, these are good models.”
The meeting also heard from DAP’s Sue Haithwaite, who is head teacher of Chellow Heights Special School. She said that five out of seven special schools in the district are rated ‘good’ or better by Ofsted, and said: “By Easter we expect all special schools in Bradford will be ‘good’ or better.”
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