Portsmouth schools ‘have to work together to drive up teaching and results’

Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

Children in Need: Junior School has a pretty perfect Pudsey plan

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TOUGH new targets for schools across Portsmouth have been laid down in a hard-hitting set of proposals.

Heads, councillors and governors have brainstormed a ‘school vision and strategy’ which is now open to people in the community to comment on – before a final draft is drawn up for council approval.

Among the proposals is that schools should average 53 per cent good GCSE pass rates next year and 57 per cent in 2012/13. The city’s current pass rate is 43 per cent compared with a 53 per cent national average.

Similarly, it wants Sats pass rates to match average levels in the next two years.

The paper also asks schools to work together, and even consider all-through mergers for children at primary and secondary schools, as well as good to outstanding teaching.

Julian Wooster, the council’s director for children’s services, said: ‘Standards across the city are not as good as they should be.

‘The quality of our schools is critical for the future of this city. It is the responsibility of heads and governors to make sure teaching and learning is good to outstanding.

‘Schools can’t do that on their own. They have to work together, and we have lots of top-performing schools in the city that can and are helping.

‘Thresholds are constantly being raised and our schools have to move forward.’

Cllr Rob Wood, member for education, added: ‘It is vital parents engage. Education is no side issue – it is the key to their children’s futures.’

To comment before July 31, visit the council’s website and click on ‘learning’ and ‘achieving excellent schools’ or call (023) 9284 1703.