Education head vows to improve Portsmouth school standards

Julien Kramer
Julien Kramer
Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith
. Picture by Helen Yates

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THE man appointed to turn around education in Portsmouth has vowed to revive schools in the city.

Last year’s GCSE results saw Portsmouth City Council ranked third bottom in the national league tables.

Now, Julien Kramer has been brought in as the interim head of education at the council.

He is confident that he can improve standards and help students to reach their full potential.

Mr Kramer believes the children of the city can achieve better than they have been in the past few years.

‘The children of Portsmouth have the same brains as children everywhere,’ he said.

‘We need to work hard to make sure they realise their potential.

‘All the children should come out achieving their potential and knowing they have got good prospects.’

He has previously held senior posts in education departments across the country, in several London boroughs, most recently in Hillingdon, and on various city and county councils.

Mr Kramer has three key targets to work on to improve standards at the council.

The first is to fill the huge number of gaps in governors that are present at schools across the city.

He said: ‘We have got a lot of gaps in the governing bodies. One of the things I will do is recruit to fill governors. It’s urgent.

‘If we have only got half a team you can’t expect to compete with others who have got a full team.’

Mr Kramer is also keen to improve attendance.

‘Our attendance at best is good,’ he said.

‘If children aren’t at school learning, it won’t help them.

‘We are having an attendance initiative. I will help schools who are struggling with attendance to do their bit. We have got to get kids into school.

‘If kids aren’t in school then what are they doing?’

And the final key target is to improve overall standards in schools. Our job is to support the kids,’ he said.

‘We have a duty to secure improving standards.

‘They need to understand that if standards aren’t acceptable it’s their responsibility.

‘Our business is to be supportive.

‘I want the children of Portsmouth to go to university and have good outcomes.’

Councillor Rob Wood is the cabinet member for children and education at the council.

He said: ‘Those schools that the local authority needed to focus on did very well.

‘However amongst the others there were some disappointing results.

‘Bringing in Julien with his proven track record of quickly identifying what needs to be done will ensure those schools receive maximum focus to recover from any dip and build this robustness into our strategy.’