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Top expert says schools revolution in Basildon will take time
A TOP British education expert says it will take dedication and time to raise primary school standards in Basildon.
Martin Ripley, 50, is working closely alongside 36 headteachers in the borough with charity the Basildon Education Services Trust to help improve results through a series of one-on-one sessions and conferences.
Mr Ripley, who has been helping the charity for about a year and been working with the headteachers for the last few months, said he and the other top experts Brenda Bigland and Professor Mick Waters were “totally dedicated to Basildon”.
He said: “Results are already on the up in primary schools in Basildon and this shows us there is lots of positivity in the town.
“The three us of bring a range of different skills to the charity and we all see helping Basildon schools as a task which is going to take a few years.
“We are totally dedicated to helping the headteachers, this is not something which is going to happen overnight but there are already green shoots and we are working hard to enable the positive practices already in place to grow.
“We are all confident we will see progress in Basildon but it is not going to happen very quickly, there is never a quick fix in education.”
Mr Ripley, is a former teacher and has taught in Chicago and Hong Kong before he joined the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and rose to become director of E-Development.
He also helped set up the 21st Century Learning Alliance, which promotes modern learning techniques, and sponsors teachers who want to set up their own project.
He also helped set up the last two Best conferences and works to increase the amount of technology used in schools to help with education.
Mr Ripley added: “We will be in Basildon for two days every half term to work on the ground with the Basildon headteachers and that could be one to one training or group work.
“We will help them with things like improving parental engagement and all importantly making sure that proper attainment tracking is going on and also giving advice on Ofsted reports and inspections.”
“Tracking is the key to a successful school, we need to know how all the children are doing and how much they can be pushed to improve and this will be heavily promoted to the schools we are helping.
“We can also help the schools by putting them in touch with other leading experts in fields they want specific information on.
“This process is going to be the start of a long relationship and as long as the schools and headteachers want us we will be there to carry on helping for as long as we are needed.”
Patrick White, the director of the charity, added: “These three really are world class and this was always the next step for the charity to get in experts to work with our schools.
“We are already seeing progress and the headteachers keep inviting them back so what we are doing is working, we are lucky to have them.”
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