Peterborough education chiefs to learn from successes at London boroughs to improve results

Jonathan Lewis
Jonathan Lewis
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Education chiefs in Peterborough are to learn from the successes in London boroughs Newham and Tower Hamlets in an effort to improve the city’s position in school league tables.

The plan was one of the suggestions outlined in a report to Cabinet members at their meeting on Monday by Jonathan Lewis, service director for education at the city council.

He said: “We have been particularly pleased with recent interaction held with the governors of our schools, something we learned from talking to our colleagues in Newham.”

The report focuses on structural changes in the city’s educational services following a series of poor results in the school league tables.

Several issues were outlined in the report  including the difficulty of attracting better qualified teachers, as well as looking at ways to get parents to interact more with schools and their own children.

Mr Lewis added: “The perception is that all of Peterborough’s schools are bad, but that isn’t the case. There are some really great things happening in some of them, and they must be given the credit they deserve.”

Cabinet member for education Cllr Lynne Ayers welcomed the report and the focus on governors. She said: “The recent governors meeting highlighted that we need to find more governors for our schools as they play such an important role in education services.”

Deputy leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald asked why the city has been so low in the league tables, and what else the council could do to help improve results.

Mr Lewis said: “The challenges are not localised, but national issues. A big part of the problem is that lots of schools are now independent, and I can’t just go into them and tell them what to do.

“We have one of the lowest funding levels in the country which doesn’t help, but we will shift our focus to utilise the resources we do have, and take advice from those who have been successful, because there is no magic money tree that we can rely upon.”