Our Medway School Improvement Strategy is presented to Cabinet today


I was extremely pleased to support my colleague Councillor Kelly Tolhurst in presenting our new School Improvement Strategy to our Medway Cabinet Colleagues today.

Here is what I said in support :

Thank you Leader,

I fully endorse what my colleague Cllr Tolhurst has said.

The importance of this document cannot be underestimated, although we have had School Improvement plans in the past, through consultation with schools, members will note some differences from previous plans in the past.

It isn’t just council, as colleagues know, we do in fact have very little influence over our schools, whilst we can cajole and challenge, it is in fact the head teachers, the teaching professionals and governors who are responsible for the pupils achievements and progression in individual schools, be they LEA or Academy. For that reason, the work Cllr Tolhurst has done in boosting governor numbers cannot be underestimated.

We are not blind to the fact that we need urgently to drive up standards in the Primary sector and although this strategy encompasses all schools, our primary thrust is our Primaries and in particular key stage 2.

We need to not only raise the aspiration of our children but also that of parents we need to market the notion of adults as well needing more learning. If adults want to learn then so too will their children. We are not content for schools to be used as free day care and we support completely parents working with teachers for the best outcome of their childrens learning.

The advantages are enourmous for the whole community. with the Paramount development coming along just up the road in Greenhithe, where, I believe, you will need to be multi lingual to sell ice cream. It is for this reason that I would urge all schools to offer opportunities to learn second languages, such as mandarin. It cannot be emphasised enough, that I believe this will be a crucial skill in giving children the best start in what is now a rapidly changing world.

We need to ensure that our children are trained and equipped for jobs that we don’t even know exist yet. It is essential that we encourage more adults to get involved as volunteers in our schools to assist in learning and in particular with reading. I understand from OFSTED, that local authority support, for Temple Mill School, has been praised, for in just a few months, improving reading.

What is evident, is that this strategy will support us as the local authority and the community to support the hard working teachers, parents and governors who are championing our children’s education here in Medway. I am sure that members will join me in overwhelmingly supporting this recommendation.

I would urge colleagues to support the recommendation as outlined by Cllr Tolhurst.

 Picture by courtesy of Medway Matters

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