Council needs more targets to know if new educational strategy is working

Councillor Malcolm Sykes

Councillor Malcolm Sykes

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

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.”

Comments (2)

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10:00am Mon 10 Feb 14

JAtkinson says...

11 years after London's kids' failures were branded an "emergency" and they got £millions in funding to sort their problems out, we get an unfunded miss-mash of ideas which will leave Bradford's kids exactly where they are now - at the bottom.

Where are our politicians telling Westminster that our kids are as good as theirs, that our kids need the support their kids got a decade ago, that our kids should not be left to flounder, that our kids' failure is every bit the emergency theirs was?

London's kids get £millions to solve their problems, give them a firm, secure base on which to build for the future, and cutting-edge developments to ensure they succeed; we get the 5th worst performance in the country and left to our own devices; we get the majority of the poorest performing areas in the North and we get ignored; we see our kids failing, they see our kids failing, and it's business as usual. London's doing OK, ergo every where's doing Ok.

Where's our Bradford Challenge - and where's our money and support to ensure it succeeds?
11 years after London's kids' failures were branded an "emergency" and they got £millions in funding to sort their problems out, we get an unfunded miss-mash of ideas which will leave Bradford's kids exactly where they are now - at the bottom. Where are our politicians telling Westminster that our kids are as good as theirs, that our kids need the support their kids got a decade ago, that our kids should not be left to flounder, that our kids' failure is every bit the emergency theirs was? London's kids get £millions to solve their problems, give them a firm, secure base on which to build for the future, and cutting-edge developments to ensure they succeed; we get the 5th worst performance in the country and left to our own devices; we get the majority of the poorest performing areas in the North and we get ignored; we see our kids failing, they see our kids failing, and it's business as usual. London's doing OK, ergo every where's doing Ok. Where's our Bradford Challenge - and where's our money and support to ensure it succeeds? JAtkinson
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Mon 10 Feb 14

G_Firth says...

JAtkinson wrote:
11 years after London's kids' failures were branded an "emergency" and they got £millions in funding to sort their problems out, we get an unfunded miss-mash of ideas which will leave Bradford's kids exactly where they are now - at the bottom.

Where are our politicians telling Westminster that our kids are as good as theirs, that our kids need the support their kids got a decade ago, that our kids should not be left to flounder, that our kids' failure is every bit the emergency theirs was?

London's kids get £millions to solve their problems, give them a firm, secure base on which to build for the future, and cutting-edge developments to ensure they succeed; we get the 5th worst performance in the country and left to our own devices; we get the majority of the poorest performing areas in the North and we get ignored; we see our kids failing, they see our kids failing, and it's business as usual. London's doing OK, ergo every where's doing Ok.

Where's our Bradford Challenge - and where's our money and support to ensure it succeeds?
I personally think the answer lies in 30m white elephant vanity projects over the needs of the more worthwhile projects like Schools, Housing, Policing, Road safety, Youth and Disabled Projects.
BMDC really needs to get a grip on what really matters and forget about the things that might make them look good
[quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: 11 years after London's kids' failures were branded an "emergency" and they got £millions in funding to sort their problems out, we get an unfunded miss-mash of ideas which will leave Bradford's kids exactly where they are now - at the bottom. Where are our politicians telling Westminster that our kids are as good as theirs, that our kids need the support their kids got a decade ago, that our kids should not be left to flounder, that our kids' failure is every bit the emergency theirs was? London's kids get £millions to solve their problems, give them a firm, secure base on which to build for the future, and cutting-edge developments to ensure they succeed; we get the 5th worst performance in the country and left to our own devices; we get the majority of the poorest performing areas in the North and we get ignored; we see our kids failing, they see our kids failing, and it's business as usual. London's doing OK, ergo every where's doing Ok. Where's our Bradford Challenge - and where's our money and support to ensure it succeeds?[/p][/quote]I personally think the answer lies in 30m white elephant vanity projects over the needs of the more worthwhile projects like Schools, Housing, Policing, Road safety, Youth and Disabled Projects. BMDC really needs to get a grip on what really matters and forget about the things that might make them look good G_Firth
  • Score: 0

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