What went wrong with education in Suffolk?
Over the last 8 years we have suffered a devastating drop in attainment relative to all other English local authorities. As Suffolk schools slip inexorably down the attainment rankings – from 30th out of of 151 in in 2001-4, to the current position of 148th of 151 at primary level and 141/151 at secondary level, we have no option but to recognise that Suffolk children are being failed when the bulk of English children are not.
While we in Woodbridge have bucked the trend at our excellent schools – the league table position of Suffolk as local education authority has dropped devastatingly until we are right at the bottom of the tables at both Primary and Secondary school level. (To reiterate the above figures, Suffolk ranks 141st out of 151 English authorities at GCSE, 148th out of 151 at the end of Primary school). The table below shows the decline in Suffolk students’ attainment at GCSE level over the last 12 years.
The red line (at around the 30 ranking) is where Suffolk was in the league tables in the years of the Suffolk Lib/Lab Coalition. The line in blue – dropping immediately, steadily and inexorably downward – shows what has happened to Suffolk’s ‘ ranking over the last 8 years of Conservative (mis)management.
And what this table shows clearly is a drop that coincides precisely with this Suffolk Conservative administration’s tenure – and policies. This drop has nothing to do with a decline in national standards, because it is relative to all other parts of the country. It is hard to believe it is the teachers’ fault when the same teachers were producing such good attainment up to 2004.
Longterm LibDem leader Kathy Pollard links this drop inexorably to the shift in political priorities of an ideologically motivated Conservative council.
And the result? Basically, Suffolk children are being failed when the bulk of English children are not.
It is time to tell the Conservatives that we must put our children first!