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Ex-Ofsted man to lead Basildon schools rescue squad
8:10am Monday 30th December 2013 in Echo News
A CRACK team of headteachers and a former Ofsted chief inspector will join forces to turn around the fortunes of troubled Basildon primary schools.
Essex County Council and Basildon Council are setting up a new task force to drive up standards amid growing concern over the performance of schools.
The partnership will be overseen by an excellence panel made up of councillors, education officers from both local authorities and members of Basildon Education Services Trust.
Sir Mike Tomlinson, the former head of Ofsted, has agreed to lead the panel.
He is responsible for reviving failing schools in Hackney, East London, as chairman of the Hackney Learning Trust and is a key adviser on the Department for Education-led London Challenge Programme.
Tony Ball, Tory leader of Basildon Council, said: “The really good thing is about the scheme is that it’s an idea which has come from the schools.
“It is about bringing them all together, not just the schools which are having issues, but the good schools as well.
“We’ve had a difficult time, but I hope teachers, parents and governors realise all anybody wants is to be able to send their child to a good school or teach at a good school. As a councillor, I want all the schools in Basildon to be good.”
The improvement scheme comes after senior education officials, governors, teachers and MPs came together for a crisis summit in October last year.
Michael Gove, Education Secretary, had urged council leaders to act because he was so concerned about the state of Basildon schools At the time, seven schools in Basildon – 20 per cent – were rated inadequate by Ofsted and just 32 per cent of schools were either good or outstanding.
The improvement scheme and excellence panel is set to launch early next year.
Ray Gooding, Tory county councillor responsible for education and learning, said: “Essex County Council is committed to improving educational standards in Basildon.
“This can only be done with the local authority, Basildon Council and local schools working together in partnership. This is why we are putting in place a board of excellence to drive improvements, improve teaching and deliver positive results.”
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