An action plan to help improve Bradford’s schools should not just be about improving the district’s place in the league tables, says to its author.
In December, Bradford Council unveiled its “educational attainment” plan, a series of points and goals that would improve school performance in the coming years.
At the time, Councillor Malcolm Sykes, chairman of Bradford Council’s children’s services scrutiny committee, had pledged that he would not let it “gather dust on a shelf”, and tomorrow the committee will receive its first update on how well schools and the Council are doing in meeting the goals.
Coun Sykes said that although exam results were important, it would also be targets such as cutting down on unauthorised absences and getting schools to work together that would deem the project a success.
Although a number of targets have already been set, Coun Sykes believes the Council needs more to make sure the report does not become an afterthought.
Tomorrow’s meeting will hear that several recommendations from the document will be implemented in the coming months.
One is that councillors should all look into becoming a school governor, and training for all members of the council has been booked for June.
Another is that schools should get involved in partnerships with other schools to help identify the best ways of improving standards. Council officers are looking at how schools interact, and those that are not partnered with other school will be paid a visit in April and encouraged to change their ways.
A recommendation that the Council should employ a pool of skilled teachers to cut down on the costs of hiring supply teachers will be discussed by Bradford School Forum next month.
However, a number of points have no timetable to them, and Coun Sykes has insisted this needs to change.
He said: “We need to set more targets so we know we are being successful. It is not just about league tables – I hope this report will add some dimensions to what we see as succeeding.
“League tables cannot be the only criteria for success. If as a result of these points Bradford climbs the league tables then that is great bonus.
“These points are all equally important in making a difference to our schools. The question is how quickly do we make this progress. We need to set more meaningful timetables so we can get some achievable results.”