Everyone is pulling in the same direction, says Peterborough education chief

Leighton primary school
Leighton primary school

On Friday I met for the second time with head teachers from city primary schools to discuss progress and how we move forward following the recent provisional Key Stage 2 results, writes Jonathan Lewis, Peterborough City Council director of education.

There is a great deal of work going on which I’ll keep you updated with in future columns, but the main thing to stress is that everyone is totally committed to making improvements.

Jonathan Lewis EMN-180519-081715009

Jonathan Lewis EMN-180519-081715009

The head teacher meetings are really productive and are taking place regularly, so we can focus on priorities and ensure there is a continual challenge to leadership in terms of pupils performance in primary schools.

Everyone recognises that there is an urgent need to be open to change and develop opportunities for schools to share good practice with each other.

We also recently paid a visit to Newham in London to look at how schools are improving literacy from a population that is highly transient, just like Peterborough.

I have also met with Ofsted recently who have agreed to run two workshops to review the curriculum schools are providing and focus ‘good’ ofsted graded schools on approving attainment.

We also held our termly governor briefings in September and shared the role that governors need to play in improving Peterborough.

Great leadership needs great governance and we have a large number of governor vacancies across the city.

You don’t need to have prior experience of working in education to become a school governor, just the necessary skills.

So if you have a legal, finance, HR or building background, you can help. You can find out more about being a governor at www.peterborough.gov.uk.

Getting more people to come and teach in our city’s schools is another key priority.

We already have some amazing teachers but we need to increase the numbers so we can reduce class sizes, which will help improve outcomes for pupils.

Teaching is a very rewarding career and if you have a degree there are a number of routes into the profession.

If you’re considering whether teaching could be a career for you then you may wish to attend two events taking place next month, which will explain exactly what the role involves.

A ‘Get into Teaching’ open evening is being held at Arthur Mellows College in Glinton on Monday, November 12 from 5pm 7pm.

Organised by Teach East, this will feature a range of providers on hand to answer any questions and offer advice. To reserve a place email shornsby@teacheast.org

Another ‘Get into Teaching’ event is being held at Hampton Hargate Primary School in Hargate Way, Hampton, on Thursday, November 15 from 5pm to 7pm.

For more information and to book a place visit www.paragontsa/gt2018.

I was delighted to hear that two of our city’s schools have celebrated good Ofsted reports.

Castor Church of England Primary School and Leighton Primary School received the good news and currently just over 85 per cent of the city’s primary schools have been judged as either good or outstanding which is fantastic.

Both these schools have maintained the ranking from their previous inspections.

Castor was praised for continuing to raise teaching standards and working hard to across the board to drive up standards. Their report reads brilliantly, with inspectors highlighting fantastic leadership in the school.

Leighton was also praised for high teaching standards whilst inspectors remarked that there were “strong, positive” relationships between pupils and staff. Inspectors also highlighted how the school had successfully focussed on improving outcomes in reading and cited that pupils enjoyed coming to school every day.

So I’d like to say a big well done to staff, governors, teachers and pupils at both schools.

Finally, a reminder that our secondary school admissions deadline is fast approaching (October 31) and we are calling for parents and guardians to submit their applications as soon as possible. If your child was born between September 1, 2007 and August 31, 2008, they are due to transfer to Year 7 at secondary school in September 2019. To submit your application, head online to www.peterborough.gov.uk.