Archive for September, 2014

Libraries consultation

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

We all have different memories about libraries and the times we’ve spent in them. I remember sitting in our local library in the North-East as a kid doing my homework as it was the only quiet spot I could find outside the house! That was way before computers came into vogue but there was something special about a place filled with masses of books and accumulated learning. Libraries’ have changed a lot since then, but I’m clear that there’s a place for a modern library service in our county, so I intend to submit my feedback to the library consultation. Do you? The consultation closes on 7th October, so please join me and the other 2,500 people who have already taken the opportunity to submit their views on proposals to create a library service that is sustainable for the future, and creates lasting memories for future generations.

Back to school

Monday, September 1st, 2014

So it’s back to school for many of Staffordshire’s children this week and I’m guessing that many of you with school age children will be ironing labels onto school uniforms, buying new stationery and generally looking forward to the end of the school holidays. For the county council though, this is an extremely important time, when Staffordshire’s 400 schools return for the new academic year and we set out our priorities for supporting school improvement.

In recent years, Staffordshire’s education landscape has changed, and it is still evolving. Schools have increasing freedom from the county council and as a result, officers, teachers, governors and parents have new roles and responsibilities.

Staffordshire’s Learning and Skills Strategy and School Improvement Framework outline how those with a role in school improvement can work together effectively in this new world.

For the county council, this means monitoring performance, facilitating school partnerships and commissioning expert training and support from Entrust to assist schools in their ambitions to become and remain good or outstanding.

But whether you’re a council officer, Entrust consultant, teacher, governor or parent, it’s our huge ambition for the county’s children that galvanises us.

By 2016 we want 90% of Staffordshire’s schools to be judged as ‘good or outstanding’ by Ofsted and no schools to be judged ‘inadequate’.

We need to work together to drive excellence, so that Staffordshire’s children can succeed in schools that consistently perform as the best in the country and I’m looking forward to seeing that journey unfold into the new academic year.