Praise for school improvement team

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WORK to improve schools across Derbyshire is to be used as a blueprint for other authorities.

Derbyshire County Council is to be one of 10 authorities singled out for recognition in a report to be published this summer by Ofsted, for the way officers support schools and raise standards.

Inspectors spent two days visiting three county schools, including North Wingfield Primary School, Chesterfield, talking to headteachers and council staff to see how they worked together.

The team also spoke to 25 other headteachers and received dozens of emails praising the council’s work to drive up attainment.

Inspectors felt the council’s strategy was adaptable, flexible and responsive, resulting in schools criticised by Ofsted quickly turning themselves around.

Coun Mike Longden, the council’s cabinet member for education, said it was a huge honour to be included in the report.

He said: “We are proud of our excellent track record in supporting schools as part of our Journey to Excellence strategy.

“All our schools have their own named adviser and a tailored programme of support based on their performance and needs. And our work is paying off.

“Eight primary schools were removed from failing categories last year.

“In a very short space of time four went on to be judged as ‘good’ which is a very impressive turnaround.”